Diego (Flamengo, Brasileirao 2018) The one-time Bundesliga star scored the only goal Thursday in Flamengo’s win over Vitoria. Now 33, the Brazilian signed with Werder Bremen in May, 2006 and in three seasons scored 54 times in all competitions. He left for a year at Juventus before returning to the Bundesliga with VfL Wolfsburg in 2010. He spent some time on loan with Atletico Madrid while with Wolfsburg and eventually signed with the Spanish club. He’s in his third year at Flamengo, the club with the biggest fanbase in Brazil after spending two seasons in Turkey. Wherever he goes, he will score goals…. and at least in his younger days, be the center of attention, for better or worse.
Max Meyer (Crystal Palace, EPL) The former Schalke prodigy came in for Crystal Palace in the 80th minute Sunday in their 2-1 loss at Watford. Meyer’s 10 minutes were a mixed bag — he had the assist on Wilfred Zaha’s goal that cut the Hornets’ lead to a goal, had three tackles and passed at an 81% success rate, but also picked up a yellow card. The 22 year-old, whose career took an upswing last season after being fixed in the Royal Blues’ central midfield, was a want-away from Schalke but found interest lacking after an initial burst of enthusiasm from big clubs. The German international (four caps) made his debut with the senior squad in Gelsenkirchen during the 2012/2013 season, and made almost 200 appearances with the club, scoring 22 times in all competitions. (BTW, Meyer’s agent, Roger Wittmann, is no relation as far as I know).
Nicklas Bendtner (Rosenborg, Norwegian Eliteserien) On Sunday his Lordship scored Rosenborg’s third goal in their 4-3 win over Strømsgodset, following up on his Europa League goal Thursday for the Norwegian side. Bendtner, one of the more controversial players in modern times (to put it mildly) appeared in 47 matches for Wolfsburg between 2014 and 2016, scoring nine goals, though he could never break into a regular role with the Wolves. Beginning his career with Arsenal, Bendtner is well-travelled, having also featured for Birmingham City, Sunderland, Juventus and Nottingham Forest before joining Rosenborg for last season. The erstwhile one seems to have a found a home with Norway’s biggest club — the 30 year-old has knocked in 32 goals in 69 matches with the club. The great Dane has earned 81 senior caps, and scored his last international goal in November, 2017 against the Republic of Ireland.
Kevin-Prince Boateng (Sassuolo, Serie A) Boateng scored the late equalizer Sunday to give Sassuolo a point in their 2-2 draw at Cagliari. The midfielder just joined the Italian side from Eintracht Frankfurt in July, as he wanted to play closet to his home. A native of West Berlin, Boateng 31, began his career with Hertha BSC, making his senior squad debut in August, 2005 after playing in the club’s youth system for over ten years. He subsequently transferred to Tottenham, and has also played for Borussia Dortmund, Portsmouth, AC Milan, Schalke and Las Palmas before joining Die Adler last August and helping them to a strong Bundesliga season and the DFB Pokal trophy with eight goals in 36 fixtures in all competitions. He’s represented Ghana on 15 occasions. On the opposite side of the pitch was former FC Augsburg backliner Ragnar Klavan, who recently joined Cagliari. Klavan featured in 125 for the Bavarian side before joining Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool FC in 2016. The Estonian has 124 international caps.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire, MLS) The Bayern Munich legend started and played the entire 90 in the Fire’s 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew Thursday. Schweinsteiger, who turned 34 on August 1, had 103 touches in the contest, with two shots, two key passes, two aerials won, two tackles, two interceptions, two clearances…do you see a pattern emerging? He also received a late yellow card. He’s started 24 times this season for the Fire, with four goals and five assists. His trophy closet is crowded…eight Bundesliga championships with Bayern, along with seven Pokal titles, a Champions League trophy and, of course, a World Cup championship along with 121 caps for Germany before he retired from international football following the 2016 World Cup. And he can still smash in goals –he did earlier in August for the Fire, as the video with this article demonstrates.
Konstantinos Fortounis (Olympiakos, Greek Super League) The attacker had two goals in Europa League action Thursday as Olympiakos earned a 3-1 home win over English side Burnley. Kostas played for 1.FC Kaiserslautern between 2011 and 2014, featuring in 77 matches while scoring three goals. The former Red Devil also started Sunday in Olympiakos 1-0 win over Levakiakos in their Greek League season opener as he begins his fifth season at the iconic Greek club, where he’s already scored over 50 goals and played in over 150 matches. Kostas also has been capped 33 times by Greece.
Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht, Belgian First Division A) Musona’s 19th minute goal was all that Anderlecht could muster Sunday as they dropped a point off the league lead after losing to Club Brugge 2-1. Musona, a native of Zimbabwe, featured in 16 league matches for Hoffenheim between 2011 and 2014 and another 14 for FC Augsburg while on loan during that period. Musona began his career with the Kaizer Chiefs and has 30 caps for Zimbabwe. Also featuring for Anderlecht Sunday was Landry Dimata, who is on loan from Wolfsburg.