Team of the Week – Matchday 32

Almost at the finish line now. Two games to go which means make or break time for many Bundesliga clubs. This weekend some teams really felt the heat, particularly Mirko Slomka and Hamburg who went down to Augsburg. Stuttgart and Hannover scrambled for points in another relegation six-pointer while Leverkusen and Wolfsburg nullified each other’s Champions League ambitions with their respective draws. Bayern Munich meanwhile got back on track with a huge second-half comeback against Werder Bremen and Gladbach took advantage of other results to put themselves back into Champions League contention.


Kevin Trapp – The 23-year-old goalkeeper was the match-winner for Eintracht Frankfurt against Hoffenheim. Well, if you can count a goalless draw that. Frankfurt would have walked away with zero points were it not for his penalty save on Firmino in the end or his many saves during the game.


Antonio Rudiger – It wasn’t the best match of the season but it didn’t have to be. It was a crucial game for Stuttgart and one they couldn’t afford to lose on the road. Rudiger, who has been playing well for weeks now, stood out again in defense for his team. He man marked Didier Ya Konan when he had to and led his back line admirably when the situation called for it. A huge talent who will only get better and better.

John Anthony Brooks – The German-American center-back is making a good case for his place in Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup squad this summer. Brooks was great in every aspect of the game against Eintracht Braunschweig. He won many important tackles and scored the team’s first goal. With it he paved the way for Hertha’s first home win of 2014!

Zdenek Pospech – 35 and playing like he is 25. Pospech will be sorely missed at Mainz precisely because of performances like this weekend against Nurnberg. The right-back was at his absolute best tearing down the wing and putting in tackle after tackle. He had more touches than any other player on his team and always put the team ahead of himself. A real crowd favorite for a reason.


Halil Altintop – If only he had made his move back to the Bundesliga earlier.  Altintop has been reborn since his move to Augsburg and Weinzierl has found the best way to use the player. In the past playing as a striker Altintop has thrived playing off a forward and with the freedom to roam. Against Hamburg Altintop scored twice and was impossible to separate from the ball. A huge highlight in Augsburg’s great season.

Marco Reus – Reus probably won’t leave the TOTW until the end of the season. Right now he is the clear favorite in the Player of the Season race. Against Leverkusen Reus set up the first goal and scored the second from the spot himself. Directly involved in 45 goals in all competitions this season for his club. World class does not even begin to describe Reus’ qualities and recent form.

Patrick Herrmann – Matchwinner in perhaps Gladbach’s most important away win of the season. The most substituted player in the league scored his sixth of the season at Schalke to move them within three points of a Champions League spot. A hattrick would have been possible without Ralf Fahrmann’s great saves. Otherwise a great performance from start to finish.

Ivan Perisic – The Croatian attacker is one goal away from double digits on the season after his brace against Freiburg this weekend. He could have had a hattrick had he been luckier or Oliver Baumann not in such fine form. Perisic has been showing the form that led to Dortmund bringing him over in the first place and after a period of adjusting he is looking like a great compliment to De Bruyne, Olic and Arnold.

Franck Ribery – At last. The performance Guardiola wanted to see from the brilliant French winger. After admitting his dip in form was his own fault, Pep put his full trust in Ribery and he turned on the style against Bremen. He scored his first goal in seven games to level the score and set up two more. He was by far the most involved player and showed a real hunger that the team will be hoping will carry them through against Madrid on Tuesday.


Claudio Pizarr0 – The Peruvian legend set up the equalizer and scored his 28th career brace in a match-winning performance. Pizarro clawed his team back into the game against a stubborn Bremen in the first half. He has now been directly involved in six of the team’s last eight league goals. A better squad player does not exist anywhere in the league.

Marco Terrazzino – 17 minutes. That’s how long the Freiburg attacker was on the pitch against Wolfsurg. But it was enough to help Freiburg to a huge point. Trailing and in need of a spark, Streich introduced a player who has been out for a long time with injury but he showed his talent with a great individual goal seven minutes from time. More to come from Terrazzino. And hopefully next season he stays injury free.

Honorable Mentions

Jens Grahl, Thomas Kraft, Omer Toprak, Matthias Ostrzolek, Tony Jantschke, Sokratis, Lukasz Piszczek, Paul Verhaegh, Christoph Kramer, Daniel Baier, Lars Bender, Gonzalo Castro, Eugen Polanski, Andre Hahn, Johannes Geis, Oliver Kirch, Julian Brandt, Alexander Baumjohan,Thomas Muller, Shinji Okazaki, Admir Mehmedi


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Cristian Nyari

Cristian is a football writer and analyst living in New York City, fascinated with the history and study of the beautiful game and all it entails. Follow Cristian on twitter @Cnyari

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