Friday, 13 January 2012

Ex-pat Of The Week #6

Welcome back. As the leagues around Europe crank back into action, it's time to have a first look at those making their way in the game away from South American shores and make note of those who are doing it rather well. Yes, it's the first Ex-pat Of The Week* for 2012. Here are your nominees:

Ricardo Álvarez. Diego Milito - the forgotten man at Internazionale - may have bagged a brace, but the architect of their 5-0 win over Parma was fellow Argentine Alvarez. This was Inter's fifth win in a row which saw them climb to fifth place in Serie A, a great tonic to begin 2012 this way after the season started so badly.
Erik Lamela. Meanwhile, in the Coppa Italia, Roma's Argentine midfielder Lamela continued his emergence at the top level with a starring role against Fiorentina, capped by two goals.
Diego Lugano. A winning start for Carlo Ancelotti at PSG and he was indebted to two South Americans. Javier Pastore put the oil-rich Parisians ahead against fifth division St-Colomban, but they were begged back by a second half penalty. Lugano popped up with a winner two minutes into stoppage time to spare blushes all round in what could prove to be a significant result.
Óscar Cardozo. The Benfica striker has hit the ground running after the winter break, steering his side to a win in the League Cup and chipping in as they beat União de Leiria 4-0 to return to the top of the Liga Zon Sagres.
Gonzalo Castro. The league isn't yet back up and running in Spain, but the Copa del Rey round of 16 took place during the week. Mallorca trailed 2-0 to Real Sociedad after the first leg in San Sebastian and back on the island, they improved the lead with an early Diego Ifrán strike. Cue a nost impressive comeback as Los Bermellones stormed back with six unanswered goals, Uruguayan midfielder Castro getting the first to get the ball rolling and the fourth, which but Mallorca ahead in the tie for the first time.

And the winner is...
Erik Lamela. We like this boy and he's getting better and better. This was his best performance for the Giallorossi to date and we hope there are plenty more to come.

* - we really could use a better name for this feature than that. Any suggestions? That and nominations for next week's award, chuck us a line on Twitter or leave us a comment below.

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