European football gave us a break from the adventures of TTT and Bisola both on TV and briefly, on social media over the weekend with its explosive games and breathtaking goals. Here are players that stood out and thus, made our revered team of the week:
Goalkeeper – Marc Ter-Stegen
Barcelona showed familiar failure again against Atletico Madrid but thanks to an alien we all know and this German, there were able to still collect three points. Ter Stegen made himself the scape goat as he took several shots for the team, with his spectacular save from Griezmann being the highest point. Oliver Kahn must have been really proud.
Left back – David Alaba
When we are not arguing if this guy is actually an Ogbomoso boy claiming Austrian, we are debating if he’s a defender or a winger. And in Bayern’s demolition of Hamburger, he fueled the latter debate more as he was always bumping forward to wreak havoc in the opposition’s defence. Pep Guardiola must have watched the lad with tears in his eyes, especially if he remembers he now has to make do with Kolarov. And Otamendi, the one with more tattoos than sense.
Central Defender – Kostas Manolas
Undoubtedly one of the most sought after defenders in Europe, this guy increased the number of his suitors by almost 100% with his solid performance for Roma against Inter Milan over the weekend. It would take a miracle and perhaps, some strong juju, for this guy not to secure a move away in the next window.
Central Defender – Cesar Azpilicueta
Cesar, you beauty! Forget his face, we are actually referring to his tidy defending. And no, this is not to suggest that he is ugly but he can be used as an antonym for David Beckham. No insult meant. In Chelsea’s win over Swansea, he mopped up errors from the sometimes erratic David Luiz and other personnel in Chelsea’s defence. Sure guy.
Right Back – Gabriel Mercado
You know those kind of flies that just won’t leave you alone when you are eating in a local restaurant until you, out of frustration, leave your half-consumed meal for them? Yeah, that was precisely what this Jorge Sampaoli’s ace did to Real Betis defence over the weekend. Thorn in the flesh. Not a surprise he ended up getting the winning goal for his side and a place in this list.
Midfielder – N’Golo Kante
Kantelele as those who truly know him call him, the midfielder was at his usual best against Swansea. If you can break play and work half as tirelessly as this guy does in every single game, what do you need passing and shooting for? Who passing and shooting epp?
Midfielder -Radja Nainggolan
Seeing as lent is just around the corner, we are rest assured the whole of Rome would fast and pray that this guy stays beyond this season at AS Roma. He showed, for the umpteenth time, just how good he was over the weekend with an assured performance that secured an away win for the club against Inter Milan.
Midfielder – Thomas Muller
All thanks to a certain team in London, Muller has become rejuvenated and a totally different kettle of fish. Easy as the guess is on which English club that is, so was Muller’s display in the number 10 role. Smooth transition and link-up plays, intelligent positioning and an all round excellent performance capped by two beautiful assists for Bayern.
Forward – Alvaro Morata
While we are angry this guy prevented us from eating free jollof and cow meat from a party fans of Barcelona would have thrown last night, it is hard not to commend him for saving Real Madrid and by a good extension, Zinidine Zidane from a damaging drop of points against Villareal. From where we stand, we don’t know if Benzema has a tape of Zizou doing something nasty because the manager’s insistence on playing him becomes bemusing with each passing day. And from the case of Valbuena, everyone knows Benzema’s love for tapes.
Forward – Robert Lewandowski
Three things are guaranteed for the Bavarians every season – knocking Arsenal out of the UCL, winning the Bundesliga and scoring a truck load of goals against Hamburger SV. In the latest rout that saw Bayern score more goals in one game than Leicester City have managed the whole year, Lewandowski was impeccable from start to finish. He was an absolute handful every time he got anywhere near the ball, and he was able to leave with the match ball thanks to an excellent hat-trick.
Forward – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
What a man. What a player. What a signing. That’s all we have to say because any other thing might qualify as an under-appreciation of the new god in Manchester.