Jadon Sancho has revealed how he fulfilled a pre-game promise to injured Borussia Dortmund teammate Erling Haaland with his match-winning salvo against RB Leipzig.
Sancho struck twice in the absence of top scorer Haaland, the 21-year-old completing his brace three minutes from normal time to seal a 3-2 victory that keeps BVB right in the mix for a top-four finish, whilst handing the 2020/21 Bundesliga title to Bayern Munich. It was just as he said it would be.
"Especially with Erling being out, I promised him we’d get the three points today," Sancho told ESPN after being mobbed by Haaland at full-time. "He was just congratulating me and celebrating with me, saying: ‘Come on! Come on!’"
Watch: Jadon Sancho talks to bundesliga.com about Erling Haaland
Haaland lived and breathed every kick from the stands at the Signal Iduna Park, swinging his hips to the beat of Sancho’s seventh and eighth Bundesliga goals of the season - all of which have fallen in 2021. The waylaid Norway striker had a dance partner in the form of suspended midfielder Jude Bellingham, but it was Sancho who was the true Belle of the ball.
"My mum always told me I’m a good dancer so... [laughs] no, I’m joking. I think this is from when I was younger," Sancho said of his funky goal celebration. "Just watching Ronaldinho on YouTube, and I used to try to copy him when I was playing street football in London."
Marrying snake hips and twinkle toes at the highest level, Sancho could never be accused of misspending his youth. The former Manchester City academy player has scored 38 times in 102 Bundesliga appearances since making his professional debut in November 2017, whilst chipping in with 43 assists.
A masterful taker and maker of chances, Sancho has also carved out a reputation as a serious big-game player. Among others, there was his winning strike in the Revierderby against local rivals Schalke - a goal which fell within days of his grandmother’s passing - as well as his triumphant goal and assist in the 2019 Supercup against Bayern. But it’s his double against upcoming DFB Cup final opponents Leipzig that could trump the lot.
With two games remaining of the 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign, Dortmund are up to fourth - two points behind third-in-the-table Wolfsburg, and two clear of Eintracht Frankfurt, who host Mainz on Sunday.
BVB will be involved in continental competition next season whatever happens, but Sancho is determined to pay back the fans that have shown him so much support down the years with football of the UEFA Champions League variety. And he wants to be there to savour each and every moment.
"I’m very happy here," the England international explained. "I love the club, the fans and the team. They gave me my first professional start. The fans motivate me and push me to the limit.
"I know it’s been very hard for them not being here to witness these three points, but we still have a long way to go, and we have the DFB Cup final against Leipzig to come. We’ll give it our all."