Xherdan Shaqiri (Manchester City, EPL) The Swiss international earned a point for Stoke City when his brilliant 67′ free kick equalized for the Potters against newly-promoted Middlesbrough Saturday. The winger began his career with FC Basel before joining Bayern Munich in 2012 and appeared in over 80 matches for the Bavarians, scoring 17 times and collecting two Bundesliga titles, two Pokal championships and winning the Champions League. Shaqiri left for Inter Milan during the 2014/2015 winter transfer window before joining Stoke City last summer. He has earned 57 caps for Switzerland, scoring 18 goal, but his EPL goal Saturday was a gem. Also starting for Stoke City Saturday were former Bundesliga players Philipp Wollscheid (Nurnberg, Leverkusen), Marko Arnautović (Werder Bremen) and Mame Biram Diouf (Hannover).
Tranquillo Barnetta (Philadelphia Union,MLS) The midfielder started Saturday for the Union in their 4-0 romp over the New England Revolution. The Swiss international, 31, has started 17 matches for the Union this season, scoring three times and adding a pair of assists. Barnetta played eight seasons with Bayer Leverkusen and another three with Schalke, alongside loan spells at Hannover and Eintracht Frankfurt. Barnetta is in his second season with the Union.
Serdar Tasci (Spartak Moscow, Russian Premier League) Tasci was a starter on the Spartak backline Saturday in their 1-1 draw with Rubin Kazan. The former Germany international, who earned 14 caps between 2008 and 2010 while with VfB Stuttgart, went on loan to Bayern Munich last winter, but only played in three Bundesliga matches. Tasci, now 29, began his career with Stuttgart, joining the club in 2005 and making his first team debut in August, 2006 against Arminia Bielefeld and featured in over 180 league matches for the Swabians. Tasci signed with Spartak Moscow in August, 2013.
Sebastian Polter (Queens Park Rangers, English Championship) The native of Wilhelmshaven was in the starting XI Sunday for QPR’s fixture at Cardiff City. Polter, 25, began his professional career with VfL Wolfsburg in 2011 and subsequently featured with 1.FC Nurnberg, 1.FSV Mainz 05 and FC Union Berlin in the following years. During his 2014/2015 season on loan in Berlin, he scored 14 times in 29 matches, prompting his transfer to QPR in the summer of 2015. Polter scored six times last season for the London club, and featured in 20 matches for German national youth sides during his career.
Joelinton (Rapid Wien, Austrian Bundesliga) The young forward started Saturday in Rapid’s 4-0 win over FC Admira Wacker Modling. Joelinton, who turns 20 on August 14, signed with Hoffenheim last summer after playing only one full season, for Sporting Recife, during which he scored seven goals in 38 matches. The tall center forward only featured once for Hoffenheim last season before going on loan to Rapid in June.
Roel Brouwers (Roda JC Kerkade, Dutch Eredivisie) Longtime Borussia Mönchengladbach defender Brouwers was a substitute Saturday for Roda as they drew 2-2 with Ajax. The 34 year-old began his career with Roda in 2001 and now is back with team after leaving for SC Paderborn 07 in 2006 and joining Gladbach the next season. The Dutchman played in 175 matches for the Foals before returning to play with Roda this season. Heiko Westermann, longtime defender at Hamburger SV, was an unused substitute for Ajax. The central defender played for Greuther Fürth and Arminia Bielefeld before joining Schalke in 2007 and transferring to HSV in 2010. Westermann played for Real Betis last season, and earned 27 caps with Germany’s senior national team between 2008 and 2014.
Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan FC, Chinese Premiere League) Augusto was a starter Saturday, but not in the Chinese Premiere League but rather for Brazil in the Olympics,where they defeated Colombia 2-0. The former Bayer Leverkusen man began his youth career with iconic Brazilian side Flamengo before signing with Leverkusen in 2008. He appeared in over 125 matches for Die Werkself before returning to Brazil with Corinthians in 2013. After three seasons there, he joined Beijing Guoan this season.
William Kvist (FC Copenhagen, Danish SAS Ligaen) The 31 year-old started for first-place Copenhagen in their 3-1 win Saturday over FC Midtjylland. Kvist began his career with the club in 2004 before joining Stuttgart in 2011. He featured in 68 league matches for the Swabians before falling out of favor and being loaned to Fulham and then signing with Wigan in 2014. Kvist has played in 64 senior matches for Denmark since 2007, scoring two goals. Former Hamburger SV man Rafael van der Vaart, 33, signed with Midtjylland a few days ago but didn’t make Saturday’s squad. The Dutch international began his career at Ajax, and played for Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur and Real Betis along with two stints with the red-shorts in Germany and has 106 caps for the Netherlands.
Sebastian Prödl (Watford, EPL) The Austrian international started Saturday on the backline for Watford as they drew 1-1 with Southampton in the Hornets’ first game back in the Premiership. Prödl began his career with Sturm Graz before joining Werder Bremen in July, 2008. He appeared in 173 matches in all competitions for the north German side before joining Watford last summer, helping them to promotion. Prödl now has over 240 professional matches under his belt in Austria, Germany and England, and has represented Austria on 50 occasions.
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