Sébastien Haller on his return to football: “It’s the best possible feeling.”

Sébastien Haller needed just 7 minutes and 32 seconds to score a hat-trick in Borussia Dortmund’s friendly against FC Basel on Friday. The French-Ivorian converted a penalty, scored from close range and completed his hat-trick from a corner, in what was just his second game back after recovering from testicular cancer.

Speaking after the game, Haller said: “It’s the best possible feeling: coming back, scoring goals, helping the team, feeling my body grow stronger every day. I couldn’t have imagined anything better, not just for me, but for the team as a whole. We’re going to try to work together and carry on in this vein.

“I hope that I can be effective and helpful for the team. The way everybody celebrated with me goes to show the spirit we have in the team. No matter what happens on the pitch, we can sometimes forget that we’re all people, and it’s important that we stick together. Everyone knows that it wasn’t an easy situation, and that the best feeling for a striker is being back in action and finding the back of the net. I know to appreciate that. Everyone was so happy for me.”

Haller was introduced after the hour mark and made a positive impression against Basel. This comes just days after his making his first Borussia Dortmund appearance earlier in the week, against Fortuna Düsseldorf, just months after given a positive diagnosis for testicular cancer.

The 28-year-old was included in BVB’s squad that traveled to Marbella for their training camp but although making a positive impression both on the training pitch and in a match based environment, club bosses will still be wary as to not rush Haller back too soon.

Borussia Dortmund resume their Bundesliga campaign against Augsburg on January 22.

GGFN | Daniel Pinder

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