Leroy Sané (Manchester City, EPL) The former Schalke man was a starter in Manchester City’s 0-2 FA Cup win Saturday over Middlesbrough that places Pep Guardiola’s side into the Cup semifinals. Still a youngster at the age of 21, Sané provided some quality crosses for Citeh. Coming up in the youth systems of SG Wattenscheid 09 and Bayer Leverkusen in addition to Schalke’s very productive youth academy, Sané featured in 57 matches in all competitions for the Royal Blues, scoring 13 goals, before heading to England this summer. Also starting for Pep’s boys was former Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg man Kevin De Bruyne, in his second season on the blue side of Manchester. Sané has goals and an assist in 15 league appearances for Citeh, while KDB, now 25, has four goals and nine assists in EPL action this season.
Adrian Ramos (Granada CF, La Liga) Longtime Hertha Berlin and Borussia Dortmund striker Ramos started for Granada in their narrow loss Saturday to Atletico Madrid. The Colombian international, who netted 84 times in 7 1/2 seasons in Germany, is on loan with the Spanish club after being sold to Chinese club Chongqing Lifan, who are under the same ownership group that runs Granada. Ramos has scored twice from 13 shots for the struggling La Liga side in eight starts. Former Stuttgart loanee Artem Kravets, who played for the Swabians in 15 matches during 2016 and scored a goal, replaced Ramos later in the match.
Hiroki Sakai (Marseille, Ligue One) The former Hannover back was in the starting XI Friday for Marseille as they downed Angiers 3-0. The Japanese international is in his first Ligue One season and has played in 26 league matches after playing 3 1/2 seasons with Hannover 96 after coming to Germany from J-League side Kashiwa Reysol in during the 2012-2013 winterpause. Sakai played in over 100 matches for the 96ers and has 32 caps for Japan.
Medhi Benatia (Juventus, Serie A) Juve beat AC Milan Friday 2-1, and former Bayern back Benatia had the opener for the Old Lady. The French-born Moroccan international came to Bayern in August, 2014 from AS Roma after beginning his career with Marseille. Benatia, now 29, played in 46 Bayern matches in all competitions before being loaned to Juve in July, 2016. He was part of two title-winning clubs and a Pokal champion while with Bayern. German international Sami Khedira and former Bayern and Wolfsburg striker Mario Mandžukić were also starters for Juventus Friday, while longtime Hamburg man Tomás Rincón was an unused substitute for the Italian champions.
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC, MLS) The former Foal started for Toronto FC Saturday in their 2-2 draw with the Philadelphia Union. Bradley had 80 touches, passed at an 80% success rate with one key pass, 4 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 clearances and a blocked shot for the Canadian club during the match. The American international played in 81 matches in all competitions for Borussia Mönchengladbach between 2008 and 2012, scoring 11 times, and has been capped 128 times in international duty. German-born Fabian Herbers, who was in the youth system of SC Preußen Münster before coming to the USA to play for Creighton University, started for the Union, and was replaced by Fafa Picault in the 77th minute, who recently played in Bundesliga 2 with FC St. Pauli. Herbers had two key passes and four tackles for Philadelphia.
Raphael Holzhauser (Austria Wien, Austrian Bundesliga) The former Stuttgart and FC Augsburg midfielder was a starter in Austria Wien’s 3-0 win over RZ Pellets WAC Saturday. The 6’4″ midfielder featured in 36 league matches for the two German clubs before signing with Austria Wien in 2015. 24 year-old Holzhauser has featured 47 times for Austrian national youth sides but has yet to earn a cap with the nation’s senior squad, although he has seven goals with four assists in 24 league matches thus far this season. Additionally, Holzhauser scored three goals, with two assists, in six Europa League matches during 2016/2017 campaign.
Junior Fernandes (Alanyaspor K, Turkish Super Lig) The Chilean striker netted for Alanyaspor Friday in their 2-3 loss to Fenerbahce. The 28 year-old came to Bayer Leverkusen from Universidad de Chile in 2012 but, despite scoring a Pokal goal against Carl Zeiss Jena, could never get untracked and spent much of his two years with Die Werkself on loan to Dinamo Zagreb. Also in the starting XI for Alanyaspor was Giorgios Tzavellas, the Greek back who scored an astonishing goal from 73 meters distance against then-Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on March 12, 2011 to break a record and also break yet another Eintracht Frankfurt Ruckrunde scoring drought. Starting for the winners Friday was Roman Neustädter, who played seven seasons in the Bundesliga for Mainz, Gladbach and Schalke.
William Kvist (FC Copenhagen, Danish SAS Ligaen) The former Stuttgart man was a starter for Copenhagen Thursday as they defeated Ajax 2-1 in Europa League action. Kvist featured in 68 league matches for the Swabians from 2011 through 2014 after coming over from Copenhagen. Now 32, the Danish international with 66 caps has featured on six Danish domestic champion sides. Also featuring in the Europa League clash for Ajax was former Gladbach and Kaiserslautern man Amin Younes, who appeared often for German youth international sides and is still only 23. Heiko Westermann, a longtime Bundesliga fixture with Hamburger SV and Schalke’s central defense, was an unused sub for the Amsterdam side. Westermann, 33, earned 27 Germany caps between 2008 and 2014.
Fagner (Corinthians, Brazil Premeir League ) The 27 year-old back started for Corinthians in their 0-2 Copa do Brazil 3rd Round win over Luverdense Thursday. Fagner was on the VfL Wolfsburg roster for two seasons, featuring in 26 league matches. but spent the entire second season on loan with Vasco da Gama, the club that Wolfsburg had signed him from in July, 2012.
Latest posts by Gerry Wittmann (see all)
- TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Welcome to the Champions League, You’ve Earned It - April 17, 2017
- Bundesliga MatchDay 28: Who Dat? at Ingolstadt … and other thoughts - April 10, 2017
- A New Way of Looking at the Bundesliga Fanatic’s Team of the Week - April 10, 2017