West Ham flop got more votes than Foden, Kane and Van Dijk in Ballon d’Or
West Ham flop Sebastien Haller finished 13th in the Ballon d'Or rankings, putting him ahead of the likes of Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Virgil van Dijk.
Haller, 28, never managed to show his full potential at the London Stadium following his £45million move from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019. The forward struggled for goals in the Premier League, netting just ten times in 48 appearances before the Hammers decided to cut their losses with the Ivory Coast international, selling him to Ajax 18 months later for just £18.8million.
Like most strikers who West Ham sign for exorbitant fees, Haller played some of his best football after he swapped the pie and mash shops of the east end for pastures new.
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He hit 47 goals in 66 appearances for the Dutch outfit, including 34 goals in 43 matches last season, earning him a move to Borussia Dortmund, and with it a spot in the Ballon d'Or reckoning.
Given his impressive form for Ajax, it should probably come as no surprise that Haller received a nomination for the main award. But few would have expected him to finish above the likes of Kane, Foden and Van Dijk.
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Kane scored 27 goals in 50 matches for Spurs last term, while Van Dijk was at the core of a Liverpool side that went close to winning the quadruple. Foden had a hand in 25 goals in all competitions for Manchester City as they won back-to-back Premier League titles.
But none of the trio could lay a glove on Haller, who finished 13th in the Ballon d'Or rankings. Van Dijk placed 17th, Kane 21st and Foden joint-22nd, alongside Bernardo Sliva and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Haller joined Dortmund in the summer but has been unable to feature for his new side after being diagnosed with a testicular tumour.
The former West Ham man spoke to UEFA last week about how his treatment is going. He said: "I spend five days at a time at the hospital, where I am hooked up 24/7, I can’t get out of bed while the treatment is being injected into my body.
"Then, I get two weeks of rest. That’s one phase, and I have to do that four times. Four phases of chemotherapy lasting roughly three weeks each. After that, depending on how my cancer is progressing and how it is spreading, I may be forced to undergo surgery.
"A lot of people are asking me when I will be back, but there’s a lot to take into account so it’s hard to give them a straight answer."
Football fans in Europe and around the world are looking forward to seeing Haller back in action for Dortmund as he bids to continue the superb run of form that made him a Ballon d'Or contender in Paris.
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