Sebastien Haller with coach Edin Terzic
Photo: David Indian song / dpa
Sébastien Haller has made a surprisingly quick return to the football field just months after his second cancer operation.
In Borussia Dortmund's 5-1 (2-1) win against Fortuna Düsseldorf in Marbella, the Bundesliga attacker, who was diagnosed with a testicular tumor last summer, came on in the 74th minute.
Dortmund's record purchase, committed by Ajax Amsterdam at the beginning of the season for 31.5 million euros, made his debut for BVB on Tuesday.
»It was a great moment for me.
I felt a lot of support.
I tried not to give the coach any alternatives and worked hard for this moment," Haller commented on his short assignment, visibly moved.
Edin Terzić reacted no less emotionally: "For the first time he wasn't wearing a training shirt, but the jersey of Borussia Dortmund.
We are proud that we were able to be there and experience it today.
It's a great story."
Terzić longs for further progress: "We hope that he will not show any negative reaction, that we can build on that and increase the workload in the next few days."
Participating in the Bundesliga restart?
"Everything is possible"
This increases hopes that the 28-year-old Ivorian national player will also be in the squad for the first competitive game in the sixth Bundesliga team on January 22 at home against FC Augsburg.
'Yes, anything is possible.
In my mind there are no limits.
I'll do my best to be there on January 22," Haller said on Monday.
In November, the striker planned to replace goalscorer Erling Haaland (Manchester City) had to undergo a second operation.
But even before BVB's official training started a week ago, Haller was working in the weight room with great ambition to build up his form.
The good values in the performance diagnostics paved the way back into the team.
In view of Haller's comeback, the result of the game faded into the background.
Felix Passlack (5th minute), Karim Adeyemi (32nd), Nico Schlotterbeck and Donyell Malen (86th/88th) ensured Dortmund's deserved victory.
Fortuna equalized through Dawid Kownacki (7./foulelfmeter) to make it 1:1 in the meantime.
On January 13, BVB will play a second friendly against FC Basel.
A day later, the team begins its return journey from the training camp in Andalusia to Germany.