Sa return is still a long way off, but the images of that day are already swirling around in Sébastien Haller’s head. “My first goal is to get back on the pitch, play for the Yellow Wall and score my first goal,” he says. The Borussia Dortmund striker, who is suffering from testicular cancer, does not want to predict when this day will come, but he knows one thing: “It will be a beautiful and emotional moment.”
It all began, Haller reports to the US broadcaster ESPN, “with a strange feeling in my stomach”. The national player from Ivory Coast noticed that something was wrong with him in the training camp in mid-July. The diagnosis was quickly made: testicular cancer, malignant. The 28-year-old attacker has now had an operation and is undergoing chemotherapy. Now he assures: “I’m fine.”
“Doesn’t seem like a good deal”
Admittedly, his health wasn’t the first thing on Haller’s mind when he received the shocking diagnosis. The first thought was: “I’ve only been here ten days and can’t even play for the club.” Dortmund paid a fee of thirty million euros for him, “that doesn’t seem like a good deal”. The longer he dealt with the situation, the clearer it became to him “that nothing could be done about it”.
The rehabilitation is long and arduous. “With this treatment, you go to the hospital for five days and are on the IV for 24 hours. You can’t move, you just lie in bed. Especially on these days you lose muscle strength and fitness,” says Haller. But he fights, works hard on himself as far as possible: “I’m even at the same level as a few months ago. That’s a good sign.”
“I feel very good”
Haller assures, “I feel very good”. Which is also due to the broad support. “I’m lucky,” he reports, “to have a lot of people around me and a lot of support.” Many people were also “really worried”, “that was,” says Haller, “very emotional” and something, “what I never expected from these people in the football world. It gives you extra motivation to get out of here.”
Haller cannot predict when he will be out. “Let’s just say now is not the best time to take this step because it will take me a few months. It is important that I do not lose too much muscle mass. I have to stay fit.”