Bundesliga ‘Where are they Now’ 2017/2018 Edition V-2

Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan, Serie A) The Swiss international provided the only goal of Thursday’s Europa League matchup between Milan and Romanian side Universitatea Craiova.  Rodriguez joined Milan this summer after more than five seasons with VfL Wolfsburg, where he scored 22 goals in 184 matches in all competitions for the Volkswagen City side.  The left back, who turns 25 in August, scored his goal on one of his patented free kicks, as he provided so many dangerous set pieces for the Wolves.  With his international experience (43 matches for Switzerland) and relative youth, Rodriguez seems like a great buy for the Serie A side as they try to return to their glory days.

Pierre Bengtsson (FC Copenhagen, Danish Super League) Bengtsson was in the starting lineup for Copenhagen’s scoreless draw Saturday with Hobro IK.  The 29 year-old Swede signed with 1.FSV Mainz 05 in July, 2015 following a previous stint with Copenhagen.  The international featured in 28 matches for the 05ers before going out on loan to French side Bastia.  Also in Copenhagen’s starting XI was William Kvist, 32. also in his second stint at Copenhagen. Kvist played for VfB Stuttgart from the summer of 2011 until the January transfer window in 2014, when he went on loan to Fulham.  Kvist played in 68 matches for the Swabians, and has 66 caps for Denmark.

Diego Benaglio (AS Monaco, Ligue 1) The former VfL goalkeeper was on the bench for Ligue 1 champions Monaco in their 1-2 loss to PSG in Saturday’s French Super Cup.  The Swiss international played in 259 league matches for the Wolves between 2008 and the end of last season, and won a Bundesliga title and a DFB Pokal champions with VfL.  His counterpart on the PSG bench was former Eintracht Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp, who featured for Die Adler 82 times between 2012 and 2015 after coming over from 1. FC Kaiserslautern, where the 29 year-old began his career as a youth player before working himself up to the senior squad.

Ciro Immobile (SS Lazio, Serie A) The striker scored twice for the Rome-based club Sunday in a friendly win against Bayer Leverkusen.  Immobile scored 23 goals last season, his first for Lazio, in Serie A play but could only score three times in Bundesliga play for Borussia Dortmund during the 2014/2015 campaign in 24 matches, although he did add seven goals in ten combined European/Pokal matches in his only season in Germany.  The 27 year-old striker led Serie A in scoring for Torino the season before coming to BvB, and has earned 24 caps for Italy.

Franciso ‘Maza’ Rodriguez (Lobos BUAP, Liga MX) Maza scored a headed goal from a free kick Saturday as newly-promoted Lobos walloped Queretaro 4-0.  The former Mexican international, who earned over 100 caps for El Tri between 2004-2015, was a defender in the Bundesliga for VfB Stuttgart beginning in the summer of 2011, featuring in 40 matches before transferring to Club America in January, 2013, and spent time with Cruz Azul before joining Lobos this summer.  Maza turns 36 in October, and followed in the footsteps of fellow Mexican internationals Pavel Pardo (who is a match commentator on Univision Deportes) and Ricardo Osario, who helped the Swabians to the 2006/2007 Bundesliga title. Lobos BUAP are off to a good start in their promotional season, earning four points in their first two Liga MX matches this season.

Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United, EPL)  The ex-Werder Bremen man scored against his former team in the 25th minute of Saturday’s friendly, which ended up 2-2 after Werder Bremen had beaten the Hammers 1-0 the previous day.  Arnautovic was making his debut with West Ham after being signed for a £20 million transfer fee from Stoke City, where he played for the last four seasons after leaving the green-whites.  With the north German club, Arnautovic scored 16 goals in 82 matches in all competitions.  The 28 year-old has over 60 caps for Austria and began his career with FC Twente.  He also played a few games while on loan with Inter Milan.

Florian Jungwirth (San Jose Earthquakes, MLS) The former SV Darmstadt 98 defender was a starter for the Earthquakes in their 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids Saturday.  The 28 year-old had 60 touches Saturday, completed 75% of his passes, had 3 tackles, an interception and a clearance for the winning side, and has played in 20 matches for the California club, with two goals and two assists.  Jungwirth came up in the vaunted 1860 Munich youth system and played for their reserve side but never made a senior squad appearance.  He did play for Dynamo Dresden and VfL Bochum before joining the Lillies in 2014, playing in 62 matches and helping the club to two consecutive promotions.

Roman Neustädter (Fenerbahçe, Turkish Super Lig) The former Schalke man scored Thursday for Fenerbahçe Thursday in their 1-2 first leg Europa League win against Sturm Graz.  Born in the Soviet Union, the midfielder/backliner started his career in the Mainz youth system and played for their senior squad, along with that of Borussia Mönchengladbach, before arriving in Gelsenkirchen for four seasons with the Royal Blues.  Neustädter played almost 200 Bundesliga matches. between 2008 and 2016.

Olivier Occéan (Odds BK, Norwegian Eliteserien) The 35 year-old former Canadian international was a starter Thursday for the Norwegian side in Europa League play against Dinamo Zagreb.  Occéan is in his second stint with Odds after playing in Germany for Kickers Offenbach, Greuther Fürth, Eintracht Frankfurt and Kaiserslautern beginning in 2010 and scored 37 goal during his club career which has seen him score 150 times in 376 senior squad matches. The striker from Quebec also earned 28 caps for Canada between 2004 and 2012.  Scoring for the winning side from Zagreb was forward Junior Fernandes, 28.  The Chilean played six games for Bayer Leverkusen between 2012 and 2014.

Olivier Occéan in his days with Fürth
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Gerry Wittmann

Gerry is the founder of the Bundesliga Fanatic. Besides loving German football, he also enjoys the NBA, collecting jerseys and LPs, his pets and wishes he had more time for fishing, bicycling and learning the bass guitar.

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