At the end of July 2022, Sébastien Haller was diagnosed with a malignant testicular tumour. "Sebastien will now receive the best possible treatment. The chances of a recovery are very good. We wish him and his family a lot of strength and optimism and our thoughts are with him in this difficult time," said Sebastian Kehl about the centre-forward, who had been signed with hopes of great success on the pitch and will now be out indefinitely. Hans-Joachim Watzke stressed: "What matters is that Sébastien gets healthy again! And we are keeping our fingers crossed very tightly – that is the most important thing. Anything else would be an after-thought."
"We’re very pleased to have been able to sign Sébastien Haller – a seasoned centre-forward who has recently caused a sensation in the Champions League, but who also knows the Bundesliga in particular and has already demonstrated his class and high-quality finishing there," said Borussia Dortmund's new sporting director Sebastian Kehl. "The overall package is very promising. Sébastien possesses a strong physical presence, and he is physically very resilient. With his experience, he can also offer support and stability to our young attacking players. During the talks with us, he made it clear that he has big ambitions with BVB."
Haller shone not only in the Dutch Eredivisie last term, where he finished the campaign as the top scorer with 21 goals, but also had a season to remember in the UEFA Champions League. With 11 goals in total, he finished in third place in the goalscoring charts. And his feat of scoring in every group game is one achieved only by super star Cristiano Ronaldo before him. Haller has already proven himself to be a reliable goalscorer in the Bundesliga. Between 2017 and 2019, he notched 24 goals in 60 appearances for Eintracht Frankfurt.
Haller spoke with excitement as he looked ahead to his time in Black and Yellow, saying: "The stadium is great, but the greatest stadium is nothing without its fans. As part of the BVB family, I can't wait to feel the support of more than 80,000 spectators in the future. We’ll hopefully achieve great things together in the next few years and be able to celebrate together too."
Sébastien Haller was born on 22 June 1994 in Ris-Orangis, just outside of Paris, to a French father and an Ivorian mother. He therefore has citizenship of both countries. Internationally, he plays for his mother's homeland and has made 15 senior international appearances to date He scored on his debut on 12 November 2020 in a 2-1 win over Madagascar. He represented France as a youth player, scoring 25 goals in 51 youth internationals from U16 to U21.
In June 2011, Haller signed his first professional contract as a 17-year-old with AJ Auxerre and made his first appearance in France's second tier in July 2012. In January 2015, he moved to FC Utrecht. He described his two-and-a-half-year stint in the Eredivisie, where he scored 51 goals in 98 games, as a turning point in his career. Haller then moved to Eintracht Frankfurt for the 2017/18 season, where he helped the Hessians lift the DFB-Pokal trophy in May 2018 (beating Bayern Munich 3-1 in the final). His bicycle-kick finish in the 2-1 Bundesliga win over VfB Stuttgart was voted "Goal of the Month" in September 2017 by viewers of ARD Sportschau. Haller did judo as a child, which perhaps explains his incredible flexibility. In 2018/19, the 1.90-metre-tall striker was directly involved in 24 of Frankfurt's 60 Bundesliga goals, netting 15 times and providing nine assists to teammates. And it could have been even more if he hadn't suffered an injury on Matchday 27 (abdominal muscle strain). In addition, Haller scored five goals in Frankfurt's UEFA Europa League campaign.
"Haller is the better and more refined footballer, who provides teammates with a good option for link-up play," wrote BILD in a comparison with his predecessor at BVB, Erling Haaland. In any case, the stats show that he is a very team-oriented player: in the 2018/19 Bundesliga season, Haller was involved in 89 Frankfurt efforts on goal goals: he took 49 shots himself and teed up a teammate on 40 occasions.
The Ivorian then moved to the Premier League to join West Ham United ahead of the 2019/20 season. He scored three goals in his first three league games; after a year-and-a-half in England he'd netted 14 in 54 appearances. Haller moved back to the Netherlands to join Ajax in January 2021, linking up with former coach Erik ten Hag, who helped develop him into a top striker at Utrecht. During his time in Amsterdam, he won the league title in 2021 and 2022 (as top scorer), not to mention the cup in 2021. Last season, he drew plaudits for his performance in the Champions League, notching up eleven goals and two assists in eight appearances.
Haller is married and has two children (daughter Chiara and son Eden). He is a humble and down-to-earth character.