This week’s best performances have been supplied by a collection of young upstarts showing great form, taking focus off well-known veterans such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alessandro Del Piero and Markus Rosenberg.
Friday (13.3): The first noticeable performance came from Germany’s current top scorer Grafite (pictured) who scored three goals and provided one assist against Schalke. Wolfsburg’s Brazilian striker is on fire with 20 goals in just 18 games, giving him the number two spot in the Bundesliga’s top goal scorer list. And with Vedad Ibisevic out of the picture injured, it looks like it’s going to be a close race between Grafite and Patrick Helmes for the award.
From Serie B in Italy, Mcdonald Mariga from Parma scored a great brace against Empoli. Mariga is a 21-year-old central midfielder from Kenya not known for scoring many goals, but lately he has been in great form.
Saturday (14.3): This next player is only 20-years-old and up until now had been relatively average in the Argentinean Clausura, but this Saturday he stole the headlines. Milton Caraglio scored a brace and chipped in with one assist in Rosario’s huge 5-nil win over Arsenal de Sarandi, Caraglio showing a mature performance that included a great scissor-kick.
From the Czech Liga, Filip Rydel and Andrej Keric went head to head in the close 3-3 match between Zlin and Slovan Liberec, each involved heavily in all the goals. Keric scored a hat-trick and Rydel finished the game with a brace and an assist.
Sherif Ashraf, the talented 22-year-old striker from Zamalek who has been described as the next Amr Zaki, is finally realizing his potential, scoring a great brace, including a superb free-kick against El Geish.
From the recently started Russian Premier League, this next player might be a name to remember. Aleksandr Bukharov is a 24-year-old target striker starting his fifth season at Rubin Kazan, with two goals and one assist he was the stand-out performer in the first round of the new season.
Orhan Mustafi scored a brace for FC Basel of the Swiss league; at just 18 there are a number of scouts who feel he could be a big star. Although he has played only 11 games, one should notice that when he plays more than 70 minutes he often scores more than one goal.
Sunday (15.3): Another league that has just started is the Norwegian Tippeligaen, which provided a cracking game between Stormsgodset and Start Kristiansand that ended 3-3, displaying two great talents. Marcus Pedersen, 18, scored a brace for Stromsgodset almost giving them the win and on the other side Costa Rican Cristian Bolanos claimed a very impressive brace. At 24, Bolanos hasnâ€™t had much luck in Europe so far, but good things may come his way in Norway if he continues playing this way.
Another Argentinean who put in a fine display this week is 21-year-old Leonel Vangioni who scored two for Newellâ€™s Old Boys in the tied game against Huracan. Vangioni has so far been marked out as a fairly defensive player, but looking at these two goals one couldnâ€™t have guessed.
To finish off the list is Almen Abdi. To those of you following this weekly article, Abdi is no stranger, producing some great performances recently. Abdi may well be one of the most impressive young players in Europe. This week Abdi scored a hat-trick for FC Zurich in their win over FC Luzern.
Highlights of all the performers of the week can be seen here.