Franck Ribéry (Fiorentina, Serie A) Bayern Munich legend Ribéry made his Serie A debut Saturday as a 78th minute sub for Fiorentina in the a wild 3-4 match won by SSC Napoli, coached by one of Ribéry’s former coaches in Munich, Carlo Ancelotti. Ribéry, 36, played 12 seasons with Bayern Munich, featuring in 425 and scoring 124 goals. His trophies include nine Bundesliga titles, six DFB Pokal championships and of course the 2012/2013 Champions League. The Frenchman began his career in 2000 with Boulogne in the Championnat, and then moved on to Ales, Brest, Metz and Galatassaray before hitting the big time with Marseille, where he played for two seasons before joining Bayern in the summer of 2007.Also starting for Fiorentina was Milan Badelj, who played in almost 70 matches for Hamburger SV, while sub Kevin-Prince Boateng scored one of their goals. Boateng recently joined FIorentina, the eleventh club of his career, while playing most recently two seasons ago for Eintracht Frankfurt.
Sebastien Haller (West Ham United, EPL) Haller scored the game-winner and an insurance goal Saturday for the Hammers in their away match at Watford. After taking an early third minute lead, Watford equalized in the 17th minute, and the match remained knotted for 47 minutes until Haller ran onto a cross from the right to easily knock the ball into the net. Nine minutes later, the Frenchman again scored from close range, heading in a rebound. The 6’3″ striker, now 25, played the last two seasons for Eintracht Frankfurt, featuring in 77 matches across all competitions while scoring 33 times. He signed with WHU this July on a five-year deal, and in his second Premier League match, found English football not too hard to master, as he had four shots, three on target, while passing at a 73% success rate while winning seven aerial duels. Haller began his career with Auxerre, playing three seasons in Ligue 2 before joining FC Utrecht for three years before his move to Frankfurt in July, 2017. Former Bayer 04 Leverkusen striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, an extremely popular Mexican international, was not part of Saturday’s squad for WHU.
Maximillian Philipp (Dinamo Moscow, Russian Premier League) Berlin-native Philipp scored the opening goal, the game winner, as Dinamo defeated home side FC Tambov 1-2 Saturday. The goal was the German’s second goal in two Russian Premier League matches for Dinamo, who signed him to a four-year deal earlier this month from Borussia Dortmund. Philipp played two seasons for BvB, featuring in 48 matches and netting 11 goals. Philipp, 25, came up in the Energie Cottbus system and played four seasons for SC Freiburg. Also starting for Dinamo was Roman Neustädter, also a new arrival in Moscow. Neustädter, born in the Ukraine, came up in the Mainz system and saw regular playing time for both Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC Schalke 04. He played the last three seasons for Turkish side Fenerbahçe. Another former longtime Bundesliga player, Konstantin Rausch, is on the Dinamo roster but did not play. Rausch, 29, featured in nearly 250 league matches for Hannover 96, VfB Stuttgart, SV Darmstadt 98 and 1.FC Koln.
Max Kruse (Fenerbahçe, Turkish Super Lig) The former Werder Bremen star scored the equalizer Saturday against Istanbul Basaksehir in a game that Fenerbahçe ended up winning 1-2. Kruse, 31, began his career with Werder Bremen, making his Bundesliga debut a decade ago before signing with FC St. Pauli. The 5’11” striker has also featured for SC Freiburg, Borussia Monchengladbach and VfL Wolfsburg before rejoining Werder Bremen three seasons ago, where he scored 35 times in 92 games. Midfielder Tolga Ciğerci, who played for Wolfsburg, Gladbach and Hertha Berlin, was also a starter for Fenerbahçe Saturday. Brazilian fullback Júnior Caiçara, who played a season and a half for Schalke, was a starter for the home side, as was Dutchman Eljero Elia, who played a total of five full seasons with Hamburger SV and Werder Bremen. Demba Ba, a legendary contributor to Hoffenheim’s first season in the Bundesliga, was on their bench but did not play.
Pablo de Blassis (Eibar FC, La Liga) The diminutive Argentine started for Eibar Saturday in their scoreless draw at Osasuna. De Blassis joined the La Liga side last season after playing four plus seasons with 1.FSV Mainz 05. During his time with Die Nullfünfer the attacking midfielder scored 17 goals in 115 matches. Popular in Mainz for his determination, de Blassis began his career with his La Plata home team, Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima. He played in 25 matches for Eibar last season.
Przemyslaw Tyton (FC Cincinnati, MLS) The former Stuttgart goalkeeper, now 32, started for the first-year MLS side Sunday in a 1-3 loss to state rival Columbus Crew. The tall Pole featured in 30 matches for Stuttgart during the 2015/2016, but had some rough matches and was signed by Deportive Coruna after one season in Germany. Tyton, in his first year in MLS, has made eight starts and has also appeared 12 times for the Polish national team. Also starting for the Cincinnati side, who were very well supported in the USL, was Caleb Stanko. 26, who was with SC Freiburg between 2011 and 2019, featuring in 71 reserve matches and 11 senior squad matches. A Cincinnati player who did not suit up Saturday is American Joe Gyau, who has played in Germany since 2011. Once a hot prospect and the son and grandson of international players, Gyau was slowed early by injuries and barely featured for the senior squads of Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund, although he got into 15 matches with FC St. Pauli in the 2012/2013 season. Gyau resurrected his career in Germany’s 3rd division with SG Sonnenhof Großaspach beginning in 2017 and last season played in Germany’s 2nd tier with MSV Duisburg. He signed a few weeks ago with Cincinnati
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