''...waited for this moment since my first day here''
Four games, four wins. Good starts often lead to success. But at the heart of Dortmund's happiness on Saturday afternoon was a man who just six months ago had been faced with a devastating diagnosis. On the 20th International World Cancer Day, of all days, Sébastien Haller scored his first goal for BVB. In front of the South Stand.
"It was unbelievable how loudly the stadium chanted his name after the goal. A goosebump moment, and not just for Seb," said Julian Brandt after a game that had so many facets and offered so many stories, but in the end had this one, big moment: Sébastien Haller's goal. Twice he had started as a substitute after the winter break, most recently - in Leverkusen and against Freiburg - he was in the starting XI. In Mainz he set up Gio Reyna for the winning goal, in Leverkusen he played a decisive role in Karim Adeyemi's opener. And now he got his first goal: Guerreiro's cross, header - goal! "It means a lot to him, it means a lot to us," said Edin Terzic, adding: "We hope it was the first of many goals.''
10 January 2023. 176 days after being diagnosed with cancer, the Frenchman was able to put on the Black & Yellow jersey for the first time. "Being there is one thing, but helping the team is another," he said after the friendly against Fortuna Düsseldorf. He manifested a dream that evening: "Playing in front of the yellow wall, scoring my first goal: that will be another magical moment..."
4 February 2023, 16:40 CET. The dream comes true. "I have been waiting for this moment since my first day here. I'm just really happy and I hope I was able to make a few people happy too. When I scored the goal, it felt like the whole stadium was on fire." SIGNAL IDUNA PARK was rocking. Three times stadium announcer Norbert Dickel called into the microphone: "The goalscorer, our man wearing number nine: Sébastien ... Sébastien ... Sébastien!!!" Haller later said: "Hearing that gives you a huge boost, too."
That's no doubt true for the team as a whole. A horrendous week in November - with defeats in Wolfsburg and Gladbach - weighed on the team, on the entire club, for over two months. But a huge load fell away with the 5-1 triumph over Freiburg. Now there is a new-found sense of euphoria in the air. "I've been hearing people mention the word Meisterschaft (championship), but for now the M-word I'd rather use is momentum," Terzic said in response to a question from a journalist, going on to add: "But it certainly doesn't do any harm that we've got off to such a good start this year. Another important word beginning with M is May. Until then, we can do all we can to pick up points and build on our position in the standings."