Mario Gomez (Beşiktaş, Turkish Super Lig) Former Bayern and Stuttgart star Gomez is making the absolute most of his loan time in Istanbul. On Saturday the recently-recalled German international scored a 12th minute opening goal for Beşiktaş in their 2-1 vcitory at Kaysenspor. The goal was the 10th of the season in 14 league matches for Gomez, 30, who in his fifteenth professional season has rediscovered the elite scoring touch that led him to almost 140 Bundesliga goals and another 25 with the German national team. Andreas Beck, formerly of Hoffenheim, and ex-Hamburg man Gohkan Tore, were also among the starting eleven for Beşiktaş, who lead their Europa League Group H with nine points going into the final group matchday Thursday against Sporting Clube de Portugal. Avoiding defeat against the Portuguese side will put Beşiktaş through to the EL Round of 32,
Marko Arnautović (Stoke CIty, EPL) Lanky striker Arnautović had two goals in the first fifteen minutes to lead the Potters to a 2-0 upset of table-toppers Manchester City Saturday. Both goals by the ex-Werder Bremen forward were provided for by former Bayern man Xherdan Shaqiri, whose brilliant spin move gave him space to pass forward and create the opportunity for the second goal after a more common cross from the right flank provided on Arnautović’ first goal. Philip Wollscheid, who formerly earned paychecks in Germany at 1. FC Saarbrücken, 1. FC Nürnberg, Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz, was also in the starting XI for the Premier League’s most Bundesliga-friendly club, along with former Schalke loanee Ibrahim Afellay. Joselu, who scored 22 Bundesliga goals during his stints with Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover came on as a substitute for Mark Hughes’ side while former Hannover striker Mame Biram Diouf never got off the bench. For Manchester City, former Bundesliga star Kevin De Bruyne had one good chance at goal as Stoke City bottled him up pretty well. De Bruyne and Manchester City will host red-hot Borussia Mönchengladbach Tuesday in their final Champions League group stage match.
Grafite (Santa Cruz, Campeanato Serie B Brasileiro) The 36 year-old former Wolfsburg striker was in the starting XI for Santa Cruz November 28th win over Vitoria that saw the Santa Cruz finish second in the league. The 6’2″ striker joined VfL from French side Le Mans in August, 2007, and scored 75 goals for the Volkswagen club in all competitions over three-plus seasons, and helped to win Wolfsburg’s only league title in 2008/2009 while leading the Bundesliga in scoring. The just-completed Serie B season in Brazil saw Grafite help Santa Cruz to promotion, a club he played for back in 2001.
Kevin Trapp (PSG, Ligue 1) Trapp had few problems Friday, having to make only two saves, as white-clad PSG handily downed Nice 3-0. The former Eintracht Frankfurt man has only allowed eight goals in 16 Ligue 1 starts in his inaugural season in Paris. The 25 year-old came up in the 1.FC Kaiserslautern youth system and played in 32 senior squad matches for the Red Devils before moving on to Frankfurt in 2012. PSG top Ligue 1 with a 15 point lead over 2nd place Angiers.
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid, La Liga) The German international had one shot on goal and assisted on Cristiano Ronaldo’s 38th minute goal as Real Madrid downed Getafe 4-1 on Saturday. It was the 13th start of the league season for Kroos, who now has four assists. Kroos played in over 250 matches for Bayern Munich and while on loan with Bayer Leverkusen. Former Leverkusen loanee Daniel Carvajal, 23, who has six starts for the Madristas this year, was not in the team for the Getafe match.
Milan Badelj (Fiorentina, Serie A) The Croatian international scored the opener for the Violas in their 3-0 win over Udinese Sunday. The midfielder has started 11 matches for Fiorentina this season, but Sunday’s tally was his first of the year. Badelj played two full seasons at Hamburger SV, featuring in 60 Bundesliga matches, before joining the Italian side in August, 2014. He also has won four Czech titles with Dinamo Zagreb and has represented Croatia on 16 occasions. Badelj’ teammate, former Borussia Dortmund winger Jakub “Kuba” Błaszczykowski, did not make Sunday’s roster but has featured in seven matches for Fiorentina this season, scoring once.
Tunay Torun (Kasımpaşa, Turkish Super Lig) Hamburg-born Torun scored Kasimpasa’s only goal Sunday in their 1-0 victory at Ankaraspor. Torun played for in both the St. Pauli and Hamburger SV youth systems before beginning the professional phase of his career with HSV in 2008. He joined Hertha Berlin in the summer of 2011 and scored his first goal for Die Alte Dame against the red-shorts. Torun also played at VfB Stuttgart before signing a 3 1/2 year contract with Kasımpaşa in the summer of 2014 and has played at all levels for Turkish international youth sides and has earned nine senior caps. Former Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen striker Eren Derdiyok is Torun’s teammate at Kasımpaşa. The 27 year-old Swiss international scored 27 goals while in the Bundesliga and has ten international goals for Switzerland.
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