Although the kickoff of the Bundesliga MatchDay 1 is a bit more than a month away, there are plenty of players in action around the world that formerly earned their wages in Germany. Here’s what some of them have been up to lately.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire, MLS) The iconic former Bayern Munich man started for the Fire Saturday in their 2-1 loss to New York City FC. Schweinsteiger, who won the Champions League, eight Bundesliga titles and seven Pokal trophies with Bayern, had 85 touches and passed with a 87% passing success rate in Saturday’s match. He also had one shot, five key passes, two tackles, an interception and a clearance for the Fire. The 32 year-old World Cup Champion has played in 16 matches in MLS this season, with 2 goals and an assist. In the starting XI for NYCFC was Alex Ring, the Finn who featured in 16 matches for Borussia Mönchengladbach while on loan from HJK Helsinki in 2012/2013 and then went to 1.FC Kaiserslautern, where he played in 76 matches and scored eight goals.
Teemu Pukki (Brøndby IF), Danish Superliga The Finnish striker scored for Brøndby Sunday, but his goal wasn’t enough to avoid a 3-2 loss to Nordsjælland. Pukki played for Schalke from 2011-2013, scoring eight Bundesliga matches in 37 matches before moving onto Celtic. Also in the starting lineup for the 10 time Danish champions was former Stuttgart and SpVgg Greuther Furth defender Benedikt Röcker and Stuttgart loanee Jan Kliment, while RB Leipzig loanee Anthony Jung came on as a sub. Coached by former Stuttgart Coach Alexander Zorniger, Brøndby have a strong Bundesliga flavor, with another Leipzig loanee, Zsolt Kalmár, a Hungarian international and Mainz loanee Besar Halimi on their squad.
Heinz Lindner (Grasshoppers, Swiss Super League) Lindner was the starting goalkeeper for Grasshoppers in their 0-2 loss to FC Zurich Sunday. The longtime Austria Wien keeper, 27, was backup to Lukas Hradecky at Eintracht Frankfurt the past two seasons Lindner has also earned 12 caps for Austria in international play.
Joelinton (Rapid Wien, Austrian Bundesliga) The young Brazilian started for Rapid in Saturday’s season opener, but received a red card for his efforts, though Rapid drew 2-2 with SV Mattersburg. The 20 year-old joined Rapid on loan last season from Hoffenheim, whom he signed with in the summer of 2015 with a good deal of fanfare despite only 12 senior squad matches in Brazil. Last season the center forward scored eight goals for Rapid.
Renato Augusto (Beijing Sinobo Guoan,. Chinese Super League) The former Bayer Leverkusen man picked up a yellow card in Beijin Guoan’s 0-2 win over Shanghai Greenland Shenhua. Augusto played in over 100 league matches for Die Werkself between 2008 and 2012 after beginning his career with Brazilian side Flamengo and leaving Leverkusen for Corinthians, thus having played for arguably the two biggest clubs in Brazil. Obafemi Martins, the well-traveled Nigerian who scored six Bundesliga goals for VfL Wolfsburg team, is on Shanghai’s roster but did not make the bench, while former Hoffenheim Demba Ba, who scored 37 goals for the village team and was big part of the excitement when the club joined the Bundesliga and set it afire in the 2008/2009 Hinrunde, is on Shanghai’s reserve side. Both Martins and Ba are now 32 years old.
Carlos Zambrano (Rubin Kazan, Russian Premier League) The former Eintracht Frankfurt man was an unused substitute Saturday as Rubin Kazan lost to Zenit St Petersburg 2-1. The hard-nosed Peruvian defender played 101 league matches for Die Adler between 2008 and 2012. He began his German career with Schalke, where he was promoted to the first team in November, 2007 and also played 30 matches for FC St. Pauli before transferring to Frankfurt. The 28 year-old joined Rubin Kazan last season and featured in 21 matches, but has yet to play as the new Russian Premier League season started last week. He has also made 43 international appearances.
Santiago Garcia (Toluca, Liga MX) The Argentine made his Liga MX debut Saturday for Toluca, as they played to a 0-0 draw away versus Chivas Guadalajara. Garcia just signed with the Toluca this summer after playing nearly 100 matches for Werder Bremen between 2013 and the end of last season. The defender, now 29, began his career with Rosario Central and also played for Palermo in Italy and on loan to Novara before joining the green-whites.
Paulo Guerrero (Flamengo, Brasileiro 2017) The 33 year-old Peruvian started for fourth-place Flamengo in their 2-1 win over Coritiba FBC Saturday. Guerrero has scored five goals in 11 matches so far this season, with two assists. He formerly featured for Bayern Munich, where he scored 10 goals in 27 matches, and then for a longer period with Hamburger SV, where he lined up for 177 matches in all competitions for the red-shorts, scoring 37 times. He left Hamburg following the 2011/2012 season to sign with Corinthians.
Sebastian Prödl (Watford FC, EPL) Prödl was in the starting lineup for the Hornets this weekend in a friendly against La Liga side Eibar. The 30 year-old Austrian joined Watford in June, 2015 from Werder Bremen, where he played in almost 150 league matches for the green-whites. The tall defender also has 50 caps for Austria and started his pro career with hometown side Sturm Graz in 2002., making his senior squad debut in the Austrian Bundesliga in 2006.
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