Two years ago, the Norwegian Erling Haaland astonished the world and presented his goalscorer business card by scoring a hat-trick in his first match in Europe Champions League of your career.
But last Wednesday, Sébastian Haller went further. In the 5-1 rout applied by Ajax over Sporting, away from home, the Ivorian center forward did not limit himself to repeating the Norwegian’s mark and hitting three balls in the net in his debut in the most important interclub tournament on the planet.
The 22 shirt went further, scored four goals in 90 minutes and equaled the record of one of the biggest idols of the Dutch club, Marco van Basten, the only player who until the beginning of this week had scored four times in his first Champions League game.
Haller also became the first African player (although he was born in France and defended all the base teams of the “Bleus”) to play a “poker” in continental competition.
“It was four goals and I have to thank my teammates. I’m very happy with my performance. It’s like a dream. Scoring four goals away from home, right in the first game, is very special,” said the striker, on the way out. field, soon after recording his name in the history of the competition.
At 27, the Ajax forward is already an old acquaintance from the second tier of the soccer European. But to reach the elite and make his debut in Champions, he had to build a ladder one step at a time.
Haller was revealed in the youth categories of Auxerre, a traditional French team that now plays in the second division, but only managed to stand out after he transferred to Utrech, from the Netherlands.
The top scorer nose shown at the club (51 goals in 98 matches) took him to Eintracht Frankfurt, where he won a German Cup, formed a prestigious attacking duo with Luka Jovic (now in the Real Madrid) and was accredited for higher flights.
Hired for 50 million euros (R$ 308.3 million) by West Ham, failed in the mission of being a scorer also in the English Premier League. After a year and a half, it was passed on to Ajax for less than half that amount.
The Ivorian was supposed to be a strong reinforcement of the club for the Europa League, but the Dutch leaders forgot to register him in the tournament.
Without a continental tournament to divide his attention, it was up to the striker to score 11 goals in 19 games in the final half of the national championship, help his team win the title and qualify for the Champions, which paved the way for him to make history.
With Haller’s show and the rout over Sporting, Ajax occupies the leadership of Group C of Champions. Key favorites Borussia Dortmund also have three points but a lower goal difference (one against four for the Dutch).
In the next round, your opponent will be Besiktas. The match is scheduled for the 28th and will be played in Amsterdam. Before, however, the alvirrubro team will have three commitments for the Dutch Championship, a competition in which they remain unbeaten after four rounds, against Cambuur, Fortuna Sittard and Groningen.
Ajax have failed to make it past the continental tournament group stage in the past two seasons. His last expressive campaign was in 2018/19, when he reached the semifinals. Despite the recent record, the club has four European titles under its belt: three in the 1970s and the one in 1994/95.
After two consecutive seasons with a change in the seat of the decision due to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic, Uefa hopes that, this time, Champions will be able to go to the final according to their original plan.
The game that will decide Chelsea’s successor in the post of European club champion is scheduled for May 28 of next year and will be played at the Krestovsky stadium, in St. Petersburg (Russia).