Friday, 16 December 2011

Ex-Pat of the Week #4

This week, our focus on the South Americans around the globe was on the final round of Europa League group games and the World Club jamboree over in Japan. Here are this week's nominations.

Leandro Domingues. The Brazilian played a major role in steering Kashiwa Reysol to the semi-finals of the Club World Cup with the opener in their quarter-final against Monterrey and a penalty in the shoot-out which followed the 1-1 draw with the Mexican side.

Lionel Messi. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's a bit good and was a game-chamger in El Clásico and his usual excellent self in Barcelona's Club World Cup semi-final against an admittedly limited Al Sadd. The through ball for Seydou Keita's goal was pure sex.

Nelson Valdez. Rubin Kazan needed a point away to PAOK to ensure Europa League qualification and it looked grim after Sergei Ryzhikov was sent off and Vieirinha converted the penalty. But the Paraguayan striker struck early in the second half to ensure the Russian side progressed with a little to spare.

Fernando Canesin. Which club has the only 100% record in the Europa League? Go on, guess. No, wrong. It's Anderlecht. They completed their group with a 5-3 demolition job on second placed Lokomotiv Moskva with Brazilian midfielder Canesin a key element and scorer of the goal that put them in front in the game for the first time, just before half time.

Leonardo (de Vitor Santiago). Red Bull Salzburg had to win to make sure PSG's result against what was always going to be an Athletic reserve side irrelevant. While the cashed-up Frenchies were cruising to a 4-2 win, Leonardo was instrumental in Salzburg's come-from-behind win over Slovan Bratislava to dump the Parisians out. 2-0 down after six minutes, it didn't look good, but with Leonardo's equaliser they overhauled the Slovakians and take their place in the knockout stages. It's the second time now that Leonardo has made the shortlist for our Ex-Pat of the week.

And the winner is...

Leandro Domingues. Wins over Auckland City and Monterrey and no lack of effort in defeat to Santos, Reysol may yet end up third (should do given how bad Al Sadd looked the other day) in the world. That's no mean feat and Domingues is a major part of what they've achieved.

As ever, keep 'em peeled and let us know who you think we should consider for this next week. Leave us a comment or hit us up on that there twitter.

No comments: