Sébastien Haller is preparing to play in the final of the African Cup of Nations after scoring the winning goal against the Democratic Republic of Congo (1-0) with a fortunate half-volley. The Ivorian striker, born in Essonne to an Ivorian mother and a French father, experienced many adventures before reaching this point.
The center forward trained in Auxerre first rubbed shoulders with the French teams when he was young. He notably played in the Under-17 World Cup with the Blues in 2011 alongside Yassine Benzia, Kurt Zouma, and Lionel Mpasi, now a Congolese goalkeeper, whom he lobbed with a scissor on Wednesday to send the Elephants in the final of “their” CAN, at home.
On November 14, 2016, Sébastien Haller played his last match with the French youth team, alongside Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard during a friendly match against England. Not summoned by Didier Deschamps, he finally decided to respond favorably to the call from Ivory Coast to play two qualifying matches for the African Cup of Nations in 2021. “I wanted to feel important in the selection where I was going,” he declared to RMC Sport after choosing the African selection.
After experiences in Frankfurt, Amsterdam or West Ham, Sébastien Haller signed for 31 million euros at Borussia Dortmund. However, nothing goes as planned and he is diagnosed with testicular cancer. The latter forced him to stay away from the field between July and December 2022, where he notably resorted to chemotherapy. Finally, after trying months, he won his fight and returned to high-level football with Dortmund, where he scored nine goals in 19 matches for his first season with the Yellow and Black.
Lacking rhythm with Dortmund this season due to multiple injuries, he is on the contrary a must for the Elephants. The results of this team bear this out. Hit in the ankle, he missed Ivory Coast's first three matches in this competition, before coming on against Senegal in the round of 16.
Also readCAN: who are the key men of a miraculous Ivory Coast?
In the semi-final, Sébastien Haller delivered a convincing performance at the forefront of the Ivorian attack. He was first particularly dangerous in the Congolese area before scoring the only goal of the match, which propelled his team to the final.
Sunday in Abidjan, at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara, the Ivorian striker will be particularly observed, and will have a duel from a distance with the Naples striker Victor Osimhen. It promises.
SEE ALSO - Kylian Mbappé's powerful strike against Stade Brestois in the Coupe de France (3-1)