How Did 2024 Laureus World Sports Award Nominee Sebastien Haller Survive Cancer? Uncovering His Inspiring Life Journey

There are some athletes who have made epic comebacks by surviving cancer; Liam Hendrik in baseball and soccer player Eric Abidal are a couple of such examples. Thus, Sebastien Haller’s recent battle against the deadly diagnosis and subsequent rise to glory was nothing short of stupendous. But the fight wasn’t as easy as he made it look, leading Ivory Coast to their maiden AFCON title.

Sebastien Haller had joined Borussia Dortmund for a four-year deal worth $31 million, valid until July 2026, from Ajax Amsterdam. However, the 29-year-old was immediately sidelined after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, a blow that came in the same month of his selection. But the star never gave up the fight and is now on the Laureus list of nominees for the World Comeback of the Year Award. So how was the French-born star’s journey against cancer?

Haller’s Incredible Battle with Cancer


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It was on February 4th, 2023, that Sebastien Haller scored his first goal for Borussia Dortmund. This remarkable feat turned out to be on World Cancer Day, signifying his triumph over the illness, both literally and metaphorically. Haller was initially informed that he had a tumor, and he even confessed his lack of knowledge surrounding the medical term. But then, the player’s unease preceded the diagnosis a few weeks earlier, as he felt it was a gastric issue. Nevertheless, he visited his urologist at the right time, leading to a relatively early warning call.

via Reuters

Despite facing harsh struggles with his diagnosis, Haller’s courage remained unbroken. The striker informed his wife about the problem immediately, explaining, “There was no time to be emotional. She had the children to look after, and I had other appointments. I had to be direct.” The star even revealed that he and his family endured some intense moments at the time.


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Moreover, the battle also involved his two children, which made it a bit more difficult. “For them (his family), it was truly complicated. They saw me changing—even my face. This was the most challenging part to manage. You feel more stressed and more worried,” Sebastien Haler explained, highlighting the struggle involved. Meanwhile, Haller’s doctor attempted to boost his morale by assuring his progress, but the player confessed to having doubts about the urologist’s words.

Sebastien Haller is back on the pitch with a bang

Sebastien Haller underwent two surgeries and chemotherapy before making a triumphant return to the sport. It has been fifteen months since he made his comeback on the pitch, and the former West Ham United player is under no pressure to prove anything. Starting fresh since then, he is now actively competing for a spot in the first eleven.


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Haller proved to be the game-changer for the struggling Ivory Coast team in the AFCON, scoring winning goals in both the semi-final and the final. He had an impressive finish to the last season. Moreover, Sebastien Haller even seized nine goals and five assists in the 19 appearances following his return to Dortmund. However, he missed the Bundesliga title by a very narrow margin.

This season, despite Bayer Leverkusen securing the championship, Dortmund has reached the Champions League semi-final. And with all the grit Haller has shown, a UCL title would be a perfect reward. What’s your take on Sebastien Haller’s epic comeback? Let us know below.

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