September 21, 2017

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

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool FC, EPL) The former Hoffenheim man scored the opener to lead Jurgen Klopp‘s LFC to a 3-1 win over Arsenal Saturday.  The Brazilian joined LFC in June, 2015 after featuring in over 150 matches for Hoffenheim, scoring 49 times.  Kloppo, former Mainz and BvB headman, fielded a Bundesliga-heavy XI featuring Ragnar Klavan (FC Augsburg), Joel Matip (Schalke) and  Emre Can (Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen) while counterpart Arsene Wenger started former Gladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka and Shkokdan Mustafi, the German international who came up in the Hamburger SV youth system before heading abroad.

Ivan Perišić (Inter Milan, Serie A) Inconsistent Inter took out their frustrations on Sunday against Cagliari, and Croatian Perišić did his part by netting Inter’s first two goals of the day.  The veteran, now 28, played for both Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg before joining Inter, featuring in 112 Bundesliga matches while scoring 27 goals.  Perišić won a Bundesliga title and two Pokal championships while in Germany, and has nine goals and three assists for Inter this season.

Florian Jungwirth (San Jose Earthquakes, MLS) The 28 year-old German started for the Earthquakes in their season opener against the Montreal Impact, and was earning plaudits for from the match commentators for his contributions.  Jungwirth just came to MLS from SV Darmstadt 98, where he played in 64 matches in Germany’s first and second divisions in the last three seasons.  Jungwirth came up in the vaunted 1860 Munich youth system and played for their senior squad, spent a long stint with Dynamo Dresden and also featured for VfL Bochum before joining the Lillies.  In his MLS debut Saturday night, Jungwirth had 4 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 clearances for San Jose as they shut out Montreal 1-0.

Dante (OGC Nice) The veteran central defender was in Lucien Favre’s starting XI as Nice won away at Dijon 0-1 Saturday.  Dante played in over 260 matches in all competitions for Bundesliga clubs Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg before joining the French club this season. Favre, who coached at Gladbach and Hertha Berlin before coming to Nice this season, also had in former Schalke loanee  Younes Belhanda in his starting lineup.

Luuk de Jong (PSV, Eredivise) The tall Dutchman was a starter for PSV Saturday as they demolished JC Roda 4-0.  The 26 year-old Dutch international has 66 goals for PSV in his third season with the club, after struggling in the striker role at Gladbach, where he could find the back of the net only eight times in 45 appearances. between 2012-2014.  Highly regarded Mexican international Andres Guardado was also a starter for PSV.  The midfielder played brieflyon loan with Bayer Leverkusen a few years back.

Timmy Simons (Club Brugge, Belgian Pro League) The 40 year-old defensive midfielder was on the losing end of the scoreline Saturday as Club Brugge lost to Racing Genk.  But Simons keeps chugging along and has earned 96 caps for Belgium.  He also was once captain of 1.FC Nurnberg, featuring in over 100 matches for Der Club between 2010 and 2013, scoring 11 goals in addition to providing leadership and hard-nosed attitude to the German team.

Kostas Mitroglou (Benfica, Premeira Liga) The Greek international was a starter for Benfica in its Saturday away win at Feirense.  Mitroglou is familiar to German fans as he was the lone goal scorer in Benfica’s Champions League matchup with Borussia Dortmund, but the former Olympiakos and Fulham man grew up in Germany and played in the youth systems of MSV Dusiburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach.  Although he didn’t score against Feirense,  he will be closely watched by BvB fans in the 2nd leg match as Mitroglou has scored 13 times in 20 league matches for Benfica.

Martín Demichelis (Malaga, La Liga) The longtime Bayern Munich defender is still going strong, starting for Malaga Sunday in their 1-0 PK loss to Athletic Bilbao.  The Argentine international, now 36 years old, played in over 250 matches in all competitions for the Bavarians after arriving from River Plate in 2003.  Demichelis has a tendency to bring home trophies, as he was on four Bundesliga champion sides with Bayern and also won four Pokal championships in Germany.  He also won a league title and the League Cup with Manchester City, along with two championships with River Plate.  He is in his second stint with Malaga after playing last season for Espanyol.

Serdar Tasci (Spartak Moscow, Russian Premier League) Former German international Serdar Tasci suffered the indignity of scoring an own goal Sunday in Spartak’s 2-2 draw at Krasnodar.  Tasci, only 29, earned 14 caps for Germany during his long, successful stint as a backliner at VfB Stuttgart.  He was later brought in for backline depth at Bayern Munich on loan from Spartak in 2015/2016, but injury limited Tasci’s contributions with the Bavarians.  The native of Esslingen, Germany featured in almost 250 matches for Stuttgart in all competitions.

Benedikt Röcker (Brøndby IF, Danish SAS Ligaen) The former VfB and SpVgg Greuther Furth defender was a starter in Alexander Zorniger’s starting XI, but even a goal by former Schalke striker Teemu Pukki wasn’t enough to see Brøndby to victory against FC Nordsjælland as they fell 2-3, and now former VfB coach Zorniger’s club trails league leaders FC Copenhagen by 12 points.  Röcker, 27, had difficulty finding his place on Stuttgart’s backline but thrived as a regular at Furth in Bundesliga 2, making 75 league appearances for the Cloverleaves.  Also making an appearance off the bench was Stuttgart loanee Jan Kliment, the 23 year-old Czech youth international who played in eight matches for VfB in 2015.

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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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