Roberto Firmino (Liverpool FC, EPL) Down a man and a goal 72 minutes into their Sunday match with Crystal Palace, Firmino got LFC’s recovery going when his strike from the center of the box hit the back of CP’s net to equalize. Christian Benteke got the game-winner for Jurgen Klopp’s LFC when he scored a PK at the end of six minutes of stoppage time, For the day, former Hoffenheim man Firmino had five shots, two on frame, for the Reds in their amazing comeback win. Former Bayern and Leverkusen man Emre Can was once again a midfield starter in Kloppo’s lineup.
Ivan Perišić (Inter Milan, Serie A) The former Wolfsburg and BvB attacker scored in Inter’s midweek Coppa Italia matchup with Juventus. Unfortunately, the 49th minute goal by the Croatian international was not enough in the end to see Inter through, as although they tied Juve on aggregate 3-3 after 90 minutes in the 2nd leg match, they lost on PKs to the Turin side. The 27 year-old played in over 150 matches in all competitions while playing in Germany, scoring a total of 33 goals while providing 23 assists. Perišić won a Bundesliga title while at Dortmund and two Pokal championships, one each with Dortmund and Wolfsburg.
Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar, A League) The 35 year-old native of Munich was on the winning side Friday when the Roar dropped the Western Sydney Wanderers 3-2, launching three shots, two on frame. Coming up in the SpVgg Unterhaching youth system, Broich joined SV Wacker Burghausen in 2001. The midfielder also played for Borussia Mönchengladbach, 1. FC Köln and briefly for 1. FC Nürnberg before heading to Australia in 2010. Broich has won five championships while with the Roar, and was also named to the A League Team of the Decade 2005-2015. He is also the subject of the documentary “Tom Meets Zizou,” a project made over eight years about his career both in Germany and Australia.
Felipe Santana (Kuban Krasnodar, Russian Premier League) The veteran central defender was in the starting lineup for Kuban Krasnodar in their opener at Rubin Kazan Saturday, a match that they lost 1-0. It was Santana’s first match in Russia, as the Brazilian came over from Schalke over winter break after last playing on loan with Olympiacos. Santana came to Germany in 2008 after signing with Borussia Dortmund. He featured in 98 Bundesliga matches for BvB while winning two league titles and the DFB Pokal. He left for Ruhr Valley rivals Schalke in 2013, but featured in only 24 league matches for the Royal Blues before his loan spell. Though Brazilian, Santana lives in Germany and has applied for a German passport.
Arkadiusz Milik (Ajax Amsterdam, Eredivisie) Milik was in the goals once again as he scored the opener for Ajax in their 4-0 win over Willem II Tilburg Sunday. The Polish international, 22, played briefly for Bayer Leverkusen and on loan with FC Augsburg, but has found that his scoring boots shine in the Netherlands. Sunday’s goal was his 14th league goal for the striker this season. Also starting for Ajax was former Gladbach man Amin Younes, who played in 26 matches for the Foals. The 22 year-old German of Lebanese descent also featured in 14 matches while on loan to Kaiserslautern last season.
Miroslav Klose (SS Lazio, Serie A) The German football legend was in the starting lineup for Lazio as they drew 1-1 with Torino Sunday. The former Bayern and Werder Bremen man was not able to get a shot off, while his Torino counterpart Ciro Immobile, the former Dortmund striker, took five shots, but with only one on frame. Former Stuttgart defender Christian Molinaro was also a starter in the Torino lineup. Left back Edson Braafheid, who made over 30 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern and Hoffenheim, came off the bench for Lazio.
Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo, MLS) The former Eintracht Frankfurt man was a starter for Houston in their season opener Sunday in their 3-3 draw against the New England Revolution. Clark, now 33, spent parts of three seasons with Die Adler, featuring in 15 league matches, but was dogged by injury while in Germany. The former two-time MLS Cup champion also earned 34 USMNT caps between 2005-2012. His Dynamo teammate, DaMarcus Beasley, also 33, was also a Dynamo starter Sunday. The former PSV and Rangers man spent a season with Hannover, but rarely played, before reviving his career with Puebla of LigaMX. Beasley has 123 USMNT caps.
Simon Kjær (Fenerbahçe, Turkish Super Lig) The Danish international and former Wolfsburg man starter for Fenerbahçe Sunday in their 3-0 win over Akhisar Genclik Spor. Kjaer came to Wolfsburg from Palermo, and played in 57 Bundesliga matches. After his time with the Volkswagen club, Kjær played at AS Roma and Lille before heading to Istanbul. Also starting for Fenerbahçe was former Bayer Leverkusen defender Michal Kadlec and Brazilian Diego. The Czech Republic international featured in over 150 matches in all competitions for Die Werkself over five seasons after joining the club in 2008 from Sparta Prague. Diego, 31, played in 160 Bundesliga matches, beginning in 2006 with Werder Bremen, and when he returned to Germany with Wolfsburg in 2010. The midfielder scored 57 league goals, but was continually involved in controversy, especially in his stint at Wolfsburg.
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