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Sebastian Haller back among the goals in warm-up game following battle with cancer

My Football FactsArticles

By Martin Graham | 14th Jan 2023

Ivory Coast striker Sebastien Haller scored a hat-trick in seven minutes for Borussia Dortmund in a warm-up game against Swiss club FC Basel.

Haller joined the Black-Yellows in the summer as a like-for-like replacement for Erling Haaland after the Norwegian moved to England to play for Manchester City. However, he was never able to make his official debut as less than a month into pre-season, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

An intense six-month recovery process followed for the 28-year-old, including surgeries and chemotherapy, with the former West Ham United striker sharing his progress via social media.

Fully healed and ready to play football again, Haller is once again showing the stuff that made Dortmund snap him up from Ajax for €34.5 million, a fee that is almost 75 percent of what they received from Manchester City for Haaland.

Following a silent return against Dusseldorf last week in a warm-up game in which he came on as a substitute, he finally got his first goals for his new club in another warm-up game against the Swiss giants on Friday.

Dortmund were already 3 – 0 up when Haller, who also came on as a substitute in the game, got in on the act to score the fourth in the 81st minute. He got his brace in the 86th minute and completed his hat-trick in the 88th minute to the delight of the management and the attending fans.

His performance will excite the club and especially the fans, who have watched with trepidation as their struggles in front of goal have led to them entering the new year in sixth place.

The Black-Yellows will be back in action against Augsburg when the German Bundesliga resumes on January 20, 2023 after almost two months on break. The former Eintracht Frankfurt striker could be making his second Bundesliga debut and his official debut for Dortmund in that game.

Meanwhile, Youssoufa Moukoko, who has been filling in the role for Haller as the Ivorian recovered, was recently in the news for allegedly falsifying his age.

The German striker, who immigrated from Cameroon at age 10, is regarded to be an 18-year-old talent. However, reports emerged of his supposed stepfather surfacing with documents that insist he is 22 years old instead.

According to the reports, the allegations stem from an age scandal that is currently rocking the Cameroon football association. 21 of their 30 invited players for their African Youth Championship qualifier game against Central African Republic failed the age test, and in trying to sort the issue out, a birth certificate attributed to Moukoko surfaced.

Youssoufa Mohamadou is the name on the certificate and it is believed that his stepfather forwarded the certificate to a journalist after it was unearthed.

Dortmund had previously had an issue with his age but it was settled, with the German football governing body, the DFB, having to step in.

With the youngster garnering interest from all across Europe and Haller back in action, the Black-Yellows could choose to move him on once and for all.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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