AFCON: Sebastien Haller's journey from testicular cancer to scoring the winning goal for Ivory Coast in final

One year on from beating cancer, Sebastien Haller scored the winning goal for Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations final.
One year on from beating cancer, Sebastien Haller scored the winning goal for Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations final. (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)One year on from beating cancer, Sebastien Haller scored the winning goal for Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations final. (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
One year on from beating cancer, Sebastien Haller scored the winning goal for Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations final. (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

It was only after the final whistle, doing an interview for TV crews, that the trials and tribulations of Sebastien Haller's journey finally overwhelmed him.

The striker scored the winning goal for Ivory Coast in the final of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) against Nigeria - just one year after returning to the football field. Former West Ham and Ajax player Haller was diagnosed with testicular cancer in July 2022, and thought his playing career was as good as done.

Currently playing for Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund, Haller broke down in tears after the 2-1 victory.

He said: "The last 18 months have been challenging for me and my family. Given what has happened over the last few months, it's great to be here in front of you.

"We dreamed of this moment so many times - we hoped to get to this point and once again the match wasn't an easy one. The joyous scenes we see now, what's happening in the country, they deserve it too. I really hope it does a lot of people good."

Haller was diagnosed with testicular cancer just two weeks after joining Dortmund, and remained at the club while he underwent treatment. Upon his return, the 29-year-old scored almost immediately, to the delight of the German fans.

In an interview with BBC Sport, he said: "Of course, you realise it is something really serious that is happening, that a lot of things can change. But the urologist helped me not to be scared. He said I could heal well. I took all his words for granted."

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