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Sebastien Haller says being back on the field and scoring goals for Borussia Dortmund “is all a bonus” following his recovery from cancer.
The Ivory Coast international scored twice in Saturday’s 6-1 win over Koln to help Dortmund leapfrog Bayern Munich, who travel to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
Despite playing football at elite level just three months after undergoing surgery for testicular cancer, Haller has come in for criticism for his lack of goals.
Prior to his brace against Koln, the 28-year-old had scored just once in 12 appearances, but he is glad to now be playing his part.
“I’m happy to be here and playing at all. It’s all a bonus to me,” Haller, who joined Dortmund from Ajax in July, told Sport1.
“If you think after just a few weeks everything that happened in the six months before is forgotten, that would be a big mistake.”
Even without scoring, Haller still played an important role for Dortmund in terms of his build-up play, with his return to the side coinciding with a 10-game winning streak.
Dortmund’s sporting director Sebastian Kehl said: “These goals will give him a boost.
“What has been surfacing in the last few weeks is not justified after everything the boy has been through. His work has paid off and he feels the support of the whole club.”
160 – Marco Reus scored his 160th professional goal for Borussia Dortmund, overtaking Michael Zorc to become BVB’s sole record goal scorer in professional football. Record. #BVBKOE pic.twitter.com/rIx4GCCjol
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) March 18, 2023
Marco Reus also scored twice in Dortmund’s win against Koln to overtake Michael Zorc as the club’s outright all-time record scorer in the professional era with 161 goals.
Long-serving midfielder Reus has spent 11 seasons in Dortmund’s first team and reiterated he intends to see out his career at the Westfalenstadion.
“I have said it in the past weeks, months, years that I would like to end my career here,” said Reus, whose current contract is due to expire at the end of the season.
“I feel really good. We are in talks [over a new deal]. Everything else will become clear in the coming weeks.”