“Missing the title caused me more pain than the cancer diagnosis” – Sébastien Haller

It has been a rollercoaster eight months for Borussia Dortmund. An underwhelming start to last season was overshadowed by BvB losing just once during the Rückrunde, which left them in pole position for Bundesliga title on the matchday 34.

However, after throwing away the Meisterschale with a 2-2 draw against Mainz, Dortmund have been unable to recapture their scintillating performances from last season. Whilst the Black and Yellow’s remain unbeaten this campaign, head coach Edin Terzić is now under pressure due to lacklustre performances.

However, speaking to Sport Bild, Sébastien Haller has revealed that perhaps the Dortmund players are still suffering from the disappointment of last season: “It was such a painful experience that cannot simply be erased. Every single person in the dressing room lives for this title. For us, football is not just a job, it is our life. Fitness, expectations, goals – you think about it all the time. But it’s like in real life: You have to draw the right conclusions from defeats and failures in order to learn from them and become better.”

For the Ivorian international, missing out on the Bundesliga title would have had an even more profound effect, as the 29-year-old missed a penalty in the first-half that would have put Dortmund one step closer to dethroning Bayern. However, Haller would reveal how the final day drama has personally affected him:

“It’s really like this: missing the title caused me more pain than the cancer diagnosis did back then. If you’re sick, there’s nothing you can do about it. You have to accept it and go through it. But we had the title in our own hands, we could influence everything ourselves. In that case, you have to painfully accept that you may have made mistakes or made wrong decisions.”

Nonetheless, for Die Schwarzgelben it is now about moving on and learning from their heartbreak. While doubt and negativity may still be lingering within the dressing room, Terzić’s side have to focus on what is ahead as they look to finally end Bayern’s dominance.  

GGFN | Will Shopland

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