European Players of the Week #777

Robert Lewandowski vs Chelsea 

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Robert Lewandowski has been the best striker in World football for the last several seasons he’s at least been in that conversation. The biggest criticism of the Polish Striker is whether or not he could come through in the biggest games when his team and needs in the most. He has been the Bundesliga top scorer for the last several years and is the best player in German Football. Not to mention beyond that he’s one of the best players in the world regardless of position. In the group stage he was hellacious with the amount of goals he was accumulating as well as supplying 4 goal performance. He showed to be that complete player. However the critics want to see do it when it counts. This week in the Champions League against Chelsea that’s exactly what he did. He may not have  the only star of the show. With Serge gnabry with another sensation display against a London Club as he scores twice in Bayern Munich’s victory. However despite how great he was it was Robert Lewandowski that was the catalyst. He scored one goal and assisted two others as he was single-handedly responsible for all three goals scored in the match. He scored his own goal and orchestrated both of Serge gnabry goals. He has answered the questions that the critics have often asked. That was a prove-it performance by Robert Lewandowski. this was a very vital performance that the team needed they looked as threatening as any team that we’ve seen so far in the knockout stage. They went into London and came away with three away goals this cup tie is good as done largely because of the performance of Robert Lewandowski only continues to prove that he’s one of the best players in World football even more so after a three-goal performance by the Polish star. Unfortunately he ended up getting injured in this game and will not be there for the second leg which could hurt the team but this performance was one to remember for Robert Lewandowski the lasting world-class ability he’s shown as he continues to rack up performances like this but to do it on this stage adds more fuel to the fire for Robert Lewandowski as he answer the critics in a massive victory against Chelsea.

 

 

Erling Braut Håland vs PSG

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Last week we saw the return it to Champions League football as we see Erling Braut Håland the Norwegian is a Star in the making only continue to justify his greatness this season. He burst on the scene this summer in the under-21 World Cup when he was scoring goals for days. Ever since the beginning of this season he has been a scoring machine which is unprecedented for a player of such a young age. Early in the season when he was playing for RB Salzburg he scored a hat-trick in his first ever Champions League game. He is only continued to show what kind of talent and the greatness he has with his capabilities. The young star has already scored 40 goals this season he has the potential to hit 50 or more goals this year. The trajectory has changed as he has the potential to be a superstar. We have seen this before with players and they have been unable to deliver it in back-to-back Seasons however he does have the capabilities to do that. While I still have that as a concern of whether or not he can maintain this next season when he moved to Borussia Dortmund he was surrounded by better players and by addition to that team he has become even more Polished in his skills. Against PSG one of the favorites to win the Champions League he came through and delivered in that moment in The Knockout stage. The match was played in the Germany at Dortmund which the difficult place to play but nonetheless player-for-player PSG from a team perspective is the only team on par with Liverpool in terms of quality. Even with all that being said the young star came up and Rose to the occasion in the second half he scored twice one coming after PSG got back into it trhough Neymar. He has been purely Sensational all season having scored nine goals in six appearances for Dortmund he has the ability to be an all-time great based on his talent. I am not going to buy a ticket to the hype-train until I see this next season but if he’s able to keep this up he can be the next superstar in European football he already has nine goals in the Champions League and 40 goals in all competitions on the biggest stage which was the criticism around him going into this matchup could he deliver he has done exactly that he’s a player that if he can keep this up we’ll be around for a long time I’d like to see him be able to do this next season as well but if he’s able to come through and show this type of performances on a consistent basis he will be a superstar a chance to become the best player in the world. Dortmund have a 2-1 lead going into the second leg and even though PSG will have a good chance to come back and win it because of the away goal Håland is going to be a threat of PSG yet again going to out prematurely last week in their Victory he was purely sensational and important as the Norwegian was just special.

 

 

 

 

Hans Hateboer vs Valencia

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The majority of the Champions League so far Italian darlings Atalanta who are in their first campaign in this competition we didn’t know what to expect. A good portion of the group stage they really struggled and if it wasn’t for particular circumstances they would not have made the knockout stage. They are a great team with a very vibrant attack being the League’s top scoring team last season and this year in Italian football has scored more goals than anybody else on top of all that they have become a great team overnight. However in the group stage of the Champions League they did struggle and even got an Smashed up by dinamo Zagreb who ended up finishing bottom of the group. Atalanta deserve their place but at the same time we’re lucky to get to The Knockout stage. They did end up getting a favorable draw against Valencia. In the San Siro against Valencia they proved to be the real deal. They could not even play in their own stadium and because of uefa’s relegations that unfortunately their stadium in bergamots does not meet as they were working to renovate it. None the less we saw and absolutely devastating performance by Atalanta. This team probably does not have the capabilities of going on a deeper run than they already have. However getting to the quarter-finals for a team of this side will be nothing short of astonishing. In the first leg against Valencia last week. They shocked the world they with a 4-1 victory Valencia’s goal could be costly but nonetheless they got themselves a lot of breathing room. Hans Hateboer truly was the star of the show scoring very early in the match to give Atalanta some early momentum and continue to put his teammates and himself in position to make some noise in this competition. He would score again in the second half helping his team build a 4-0 week. Unfortunately they did surrender an away goal Valencia will have to beat them 3-0 at home to advance Through The Knockout stage. We have seen this again with Roma vs Barcelona but Atalanta has positioned themselves well. Hans Hateboer has quietly become one of the best players on the team as Atalanta build themselves a lead now that they have a good chance coming out of. Last season he played in the back line and was one of the best defenders in the league last season. This year he has played in the Midfield as he had to adjust to playing out of his position. He is driving these circumstances and has proven to be a vital player that they will need to perform for their Champions League campaign to continue. It was a historic victory at Atalanta something they remember for a long time but Hans Hateboer will make sure that the team does not lose focus but he was the star of the show during the first match up as his performance gave the team’s confidence to ultimately make the quarterfinals which would be astonishing for a team like Atalanta who was in Serie B not that long ago.

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