Sebastian Haller has scored his first competitive goal for Borussia Dortmund since recovering from testicular cancer, a goal he also scored on World Cancer Day, February 4, 2023.
The former West Ham striker, who returned to action three weeks ago, scored Dortmund’s third goal with a 51st-minute header to help BVB trash Freiburg in their 5-1 Bundesliga clash.
The 28-year-old Ivorian striker had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2022 and had been ruled out of competitive football to attend to his health.
Haller was diagnosed days after signing for Dortmund as Erling Haaland’s replacement, and needed two operations. He has had four rounds of chemotherapy, and surgery in November.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment since day one. When I scored the goal, it felt like the whole stadium was on fire,” Haller told Sky Sports.
“I am happy, but the way is still long, so we will keep walking and hoping for more goals.”
The club also marked the occasion of World Cancer Day by including a lump on the centre circle before the match, and at half time, to raise awareness of testicular cancer.
Prior to the match, the club tweeted that, “Before the match and during the half-time break, a bulge that symbolises a testicular tumor will be added to the centre circle to raise awareness for testicular cancer. It’s never too early to get a cancer screening and please do it regularly!”
Haller returned to the pitch on January 22 in a 4-3 home league win over Augsburg, before making his first Dortmund start against Bayer Leverkusen a week later.
Dortmund cruised to victory over Freiburg, who had Kiliann Sidillia sent off after 17 minutes.
Nico Schlotterbeck, Karim Adeyemi, Julian Brandt and Gio Reyna got on the scoresheet for Dortmund, as well as Haller, as they moved up to third in the Bundesliga, two points off leaders Union Berlin.
Before the match and during the half-time break, a bulge that symbolizes a testicular tumor will be added to the center circle to raise awareness for testicular cancer.
— Borussia Dortmund (BlackYellow) February 4, 2023