The 2018 World Cup ended with a disappointing performance from the German national team, and Germany’s first division doesn’t kick off for a month, there are still former Bundesliga players earning a paycheck in domestic leagues around the world.
Lucas Barrios (Colo-Colo, Chilean Premier League) Former Borussia Dortmund striker Lucas Barrios scored the opening goal for Colo-Colo Saturday in their 1-2 win away to Union La Calera. Barrios, 33, scored 49 goals in all competitions in two and half seasons with the yellow-blacks beginning in 2009, and won two Bundesliga titles and Pokal while in the Ruhr Valley. Born in Argentina, Barrios has represented Paraguay internationally and has played professionally in Argentina, Chile, Germany, China, France and Brazil. He is just beginning his second stint with Colo-Colo, the club he left to join Dortmund nine years ago.
Dominik Kaiser (Brøndby IF, Danish SAS Ligaen) Newly arrived midfielder Dominik Kaiser started Sunday for Brøndby IF in their 1-1 draw with Velje BK. Kaiser, 29, played in over 150 matches with RB Leipzig, beginning in 2012 after his arrival from Hoffenheim and was an integral member of the club as they made a quick climb up the German footballing ladder to the Bundesliga. Brøndby, coached by former Stuttgart headman Alexander Zorniger, has a distinct German feel to its roster. Defender Benedikt Rocker, formerly of Stuttgart and Greuther Fürth, was in Zorniger’s starting XI, as was goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe, 23, who played for Hoffenheim’s reserves, VfL Osnabrück and Dynamo Dresden and left back Anthony Jung, who came up with Eintracht Frankfurt’s reserve side before featuring for FSV Frankfurt, RB Leipzig and FC Ingolstadt.
Fabian Frei (FC Basel, Swiss Super League) The former Mainz man started for Basel Saturday in the club’s season opener, but the 2o time domestic champions suffered an upset at home to St. Gallen 1-2. The 29 yea=old Swiss international (14 caps) began his career with Basel, making his senior squad debut in 2007/2008, and played over 250 matches for the Swiss side, along with 64 more matches while on loan with St. Gallen. Frei spent 2 and a half seasons with Mainz, featuring in 62 matches for the 05ers before returning to Basel last January.
Demba Ba (Shanghai Shenhua, Chinese Super League) Ba was a starter Sunday for Shanghai Shenhua in their 2-2 draw with Henan Jianye. The 33 year-old striker from France, who has represented Senegal internationally, has a goal in two matches this season in Chinese Super League action. Ba will always be remembered for his first year in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim, as he scored 14 goals for the upstart village side that dazzled during the Hinrunde. Ba scored 40 goals in four seasons with Hoffe (including their final year in Bundesliga 2) before heading to England, where he had some big seasons with Newcastle United. He scored 14 goals two seasons ago in China after a strong season in Turkey with Besiktas.
Zoltan Stieber (DC United, MLS) The 29 year-old Hungarian scored the opening goal in the 8th minute for DCU in Atlanta Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to give the capital city club the win as the home team prevailed 3-1. Steieber, joined DCU in August, 2017 after playing 10 years in Germany, beginning with TuS Koblenz before featuring at Alemannia Aachen, Mainz, Greuther Fürth, Hamburg, Nürnberg and Kaiserslautern, scoring 33 goals in 180 games while in Germany. Also featuring for DCU was Pennsylvanian Russell Canouse, who played for Hoffenheim’s reserves and for a season on loan at VfL Bochum. Julian Gressel, the German midfielder who played for Eintracht Bamberg and was in Fürth’s youth system before coming to the US to play college ball, was once again a started for Atlanta United, while teammate Kevin Krantz, 31, the former Leverkusen youth player who once played for Alemannia Aachen, Eintracht Braunschweig and SV Sandhausen, came on as a sub. Michael Parkhurst, who played half a season for FC Augsburg, started for Atlanta.
Tarik Elyounoussi (AIK, Swedish Allsvenskan) The Norwegian international started Thursday for Swedish side AIK in their 1-1 draw with Shamrock Rovers, a result good enough to see the Swedes advance to the next stage of Europa League qualification. Born in Morocco, Elyounoussi began his career with Norwegian side Fredrikstad FK and played for Heerenveen, Lillestrom and Rosenborg before joining Hoffenheim in the summer of 2013. He appeared in 56 matches in Germany before leaving for Olympiacos. Joining AIK for this season, he has five goals for 11 matches in all competitions this campaign.
Pedro Geromel (Gremio, Brasileiro) Geromel started for Vasco da Gama Sunday in theri match with Vasco da Gama. The central defender played 116 Bundesliga fixtures for 1.FC Köln between 2008 and 2012. Despite not earning his first cap for Brazil until January, 2017, the native of São Paulo had the honor of being selected to his nation’s 2018 World Cup squad.
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