Friday, 17 February 2012

Ex-pat of the week #11

This week's round-up of the best of South America playing their trade away from the continent does not feature Diego Lugano, who proved himself to be a bit of a bell-end by describing Luis Suárez as "the only victim". The Champions League and Europa League returned and the latter proved the more entertaining. Here are the nominees:

Robinho. One of a trio of Milan players that ripped Arsenal a new one at the Giuseppe Meazza in the Champions League. Alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin Prince Boateng, Robinho was pretty much unplayable and weighed in with a couple of classy finishes.
Maxi Lopez. Had Milan succeeded in signing Carlos Tevez in January, Lopez would have remained a Catania player. He paid for himself to stay in Milan while the Tevez storm blew over and is beginning to reap the benefits, helping Milan to top spot in Serie A with the equaliser in the win over Udinese.
Radamel Falcao. Again proved himself to be possibly the deadliest striker running around today with a superbly taken brace in Rome against Lazio in the Europa League.
Jonathan Cristaldo. One of five Argentines in the Metalist Kharkiv side, striker Cristaldo was unstoppable away in Salzburg, scoring twice and virtually eliminating the Red Bull-backed nouveau riche Austrian history-deniers.
Everton. With FC Twente on a roll under their new manager, it looked a nailed on certainty they'd win the local derby at Almelo with Heracles last Friday. Heracles had other thoughts, particularly their dynamic midfield schemer Everton who bossed it throughout and scored twice in a 3-2 win.

And the name in the golden envelope is...
Jonathan Cristaldo. The diminutive striker ran Salzburg ragged and pretty much put his side in the last 16 of the Europa League with his performance. The 22-year old has one senior cap for Argentina, but he's improving all the time and more will surely follow.

This section returns in a week's time. Let us know if you spot any noteworthy performances.
Meanwhile, we apologise for the lack of regular updates from the Brazilian state leagues and the Copa Libertadores which cranked back into life last week. Unfortunately, the need to earn a living has impinged on the time our contributors have to dedicate to this project. Normal service will resume soon.

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