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West Ham Flop Sebastien Haller Creates Champions League History With Ajax

Rory O'Callaghan

| Last updated 

West Ham Flop Sebastien Haller Creates Champions League History With Ajax

When Sebastien Haller calmly slotted a penalty in Ajax’s 4-2 win over Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday, he also wrote his name into European football's history books.

Haller became only the second player to score in all six group games in a Champions League campaign after five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who achieved the feat back in 2017-18. 

"It means a lot," Haller told Ziggo Sport after the match. 

"When you start something, it's your dream to play these games and you want to do it well. I'm really happy and proud." 

Ajax cruised through to the knockout stages of this year’s competition after winning all six of their games in a group which also included Borussia Dortmund and Besiktas. 

The Dutch club largely has Haller to thank – he's now scored 10 goals in this year’s competition and is only the fourth player in history, after Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski, to reach that mark by the end of the group stage. 

In the process, he set a new record for the quickest to 10 goals in the competition, achieving the feat in just six matches - one quicker than the previous record holder, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.

To put it into perspective, Haller has now scored more Champions League goals in a single season than Eden Hazard (9), Yaya Toure (8) and Juan Mata (8) managed in their entire careers.  

It caps a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the 27-year-old striker, who failed to make an impact during his time in the Premier League with West Ham. 

Expectations were high when Haller joined the Hammers in a whopping £45m move from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019.  

However, the Ivory Coast international never came close to justifying his price-tag and was sold to Ajax in January for around £19m, having managed an underwhelming 10 goals in 48 Premier League appearances.  

Haller admits he was frustrated by his time at West Ham and believes he made the right decision to leave after just 18 months. 

“I don’t see it as a step back, far from it,” said Haller earlier this year.  

“It turned out to be a very sensible decision. I can shine in the Champions League, all thanks to Ajax." 

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: West Ham United, Ajax, Champions League, Football

Rory O'Callaghan
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