bundesliga

Sebastien Haller on Borussia Dortmund toppling Bayern Munich: "Why not?"

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Sebastien Haller has said that one of his main aims after joining Borussia Dortmund is to help his new club finally topple Bayern Munich as German champions.

Bayern have won a record 10 consecutive Bundesliga titles and made their own headline summer signing in Sadio Mane, but Haller feels Dortmund are now primed to challenge.

"Dortmund of course is not the only [one] but is the biggest rival of Bayern, [who] won a few titles in a row," the 28-year-old striker told BVB TV. "The goals are of course to come and fight with them and be first. Of course - why not?"

Dortmund have finished as runners-up six times - including last season - since last winning the league in 2011/12 under Jürgen Klopp. An impressive summer recruitment drive, however, suggests that they have the potential to go one better next time.

Haller is one of several standout acquisitions that returning coach Edin Terzic will have to work with, a list that also includes the likes of centre-backs Niklas Süle and Nico Schlotterbeck, as well as fellow attacker Karim Adeyemi.

The former Eintracht Frankfurt frontman, who most recently registered 47 goals and 16 assists in 66 games for Ajax, is excited about what lies ahead.

"I feel great," the France-born Cote d'Ivoire international said. "Really happy, proud, and also really looking to forward to come and play, you know. Training, games… everything."

Haller was signed after Erling Haaland departed for Manchester City, and finding adequate replacements for star attackers is something that Dortmund have been particularly good at in recent years.

Sebastien Haller lit up the UEFA Champions League with Ajax last season - can he have a similar impact in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund? - via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Pro Shots

The 6'2" forward will certainly offer the five-time Bundesliga winners a significant physical presence in attack. He got 24 league goals across two seasons in Frankfurt between 2017 and 2019, and during an 18-month spell in Amsterdam he won the Dutch league twice and the cup once.

The former West Ham man acknowledges that his main task is to be in the right place at the right time to score, but Dortmund will be fully aware that he is very much a team player.

"I love to score goals because let's say it's my first ability, but to give assists - it's something nice," Haller explained. "It's a nice feeling because it's like you give something… it's a like a gift to your partner. [As a striker] you need to make sure that we score goals. Assist or a goal, of course it's important for the team.”

Last season Haller finished as the Eredivisie's top goalscorer with 21 goals, and he also struck 11 times in eight UEFA Champions League games. On his way to becoming only the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo to score in all six group matches, he was on the scoresheet four times in one game against Sporting Lisbon before netting home and away in wins over Dortmund.

Watch: Sebastien Haller's Bundesliga Mixtape

Given his experience with both Eintracht and Ajax, then, Haller already knows a lot about what it's like to play at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park. Now he is looking forward to having the backing of the passionate BVB supporters, as well as scoring in front of the famous Yellow Wall in the south stand.

“It's an epic stadium," he said. "So epic stadiums, most of the time… epic games. I have a good feeling. First the grass is top - the pitch is really good. The atmosphere, always, was really good.

"Even if I didn't win a few times with Frankfurt - because I won with Ajax - I always have a great memory of this stadium because you are in really good conditions to play football. These are the kind of games that remind you that you do a beautiful sport."

One of the favourites along with Mane to try and become the next player after Robert Lewandowski to finish as the Bundesliga's top goalscorer in a season, Haller will not have to wait long to play in Dortmund again. The former European champions' first league match of the 2022/23 Bundesliga campaign is a home fixture against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday 6 August.