The top leagues around Europe are back underway after a dramatic international break offered up one talking point after the next during the UEFA Nations League, but normal service has now resumed and the first weekend back in action once again did not disappoint.
This week’s European Team of the Week is spearheaded by none other than Bayern Munich wunderkind Jamal Musiala, after his growing influence for club and country continues to prove age is just a number when you are good enough as the Stuttgart-native led the charge in Bayern’s 4-0 thrashing of floundering Bayer Leverkusen. Other Bundesliga representatives came in the vein of SV Werder Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug, RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner, and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka.
Elsewhere, big wins for Athletic Club, SS Lazio, Olympique de Marseille, and SSC Napoli are all represented, while another young star at Barcelona continues to add his name into Xavi’s cadre of youthful influence at the Sportify Camp Nou.
Here, in full, is 101 Great Goals’ European team of the Week for 30 September - 2 October.
GK: Marco Sportiello (Atalanta Bergamo)
Atalanta continued their impressive 2022-23 Serie A campaign after a 1-0 win against Fiorentina in Bergamo saw them keep pace at the top of the league with Napoli, while Marco Sportiello put himself in the shop window with an excellent performance that saw Atalanta keep it’s league-best defensive record.
RB: Alejandro Balde (FC Barcelona)
Barcelona goes into their Champions League midweek boasting top spot in La Liga for the first time in quite a long while after Real Madrid slipped up in a draw against Osasuna while Xavi’s men took all three points off Mallorca, with youngster Alejandro Balde proving once against that a slot in the Barça XI is now his.
CB: Massadio Haïdara (Racing Club de Lens)
Lens continues to play its role as apple cart upsetter extraordinaire since their arrival back in Ligue 1 two seasons ago and remains undefeated this season and in the hunt for Champions League football as one of three teams still yet to taste defeat as Massadio Haïdara celebrated his 100th career appearance with a fantastic display in 1-0 win over Olympique Lyonnais.
CB: Evan Ndicka (Eintracht Frankfurt)
The race for 23-year-old French center-back Evan Ndicka continues to heat up after the Eintracht Frankfurt stalwart has entered the final year of his contract in Germany’s financial capital and his performance at the weekend showed why Juventus and a cadre of other top clubs are vying for his services after he played a leading role in ending Union Berlin’s undefeated run.
LB: Jonathan Clauss (Olympique de Marseille)
Everyone remembers the moment Jonathan Clauss received his first call-up for France after establishing himself as one of the top full-backs in France in the last two seasons, and his move from Lens to Marseille has proven a fantastic bit of business after his goal and two assists for OM at the weekend.
CM: André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli)
Napoli’s 3-1 home win against Torino sees the southern Italian side remain at the summit of the Serie A table and ahead of Atalanta on goal difference as the two looks to arrest the Scudetto from its usual ports of call, with Cameroonian midfielder André-Frank Zambo Anguissa enjoying his time since his summer arrival with a two-goal performance.
CM: Sergej Milinković-Savić (Società Sportiva Lazio)
Lazio is looking to get back into the Champions League after missing out last season and currently sit third in the Serie A table after matchday eight, with Serbian star Sergej Milinković-Savić continuing to write his name in the annals of club lore and added a brace to his goal tally in the Italian capital in a bit win over Spezia.
CAM: Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
Bayern Munich arrested their recent four-match slide in the Bundesliga that saw them pick up just three points from twelve before the international break, with Jamal Musiala the main man once again for the Bavarians with a goal and two assists to his name against hapless Bayer Leverkusen.
RW: Nico Williams (Athletic Club)
A breakout 2021-22 La Liga campaign for Athletic Club starlet Nico Williams has hit the next level for the 20-year-old academy product and recent full Spanish international, with a goal and an assist (for his older brother’s goal) against Almeria at the weekend takes him to 3 goals and 2 assists for the season at a time where Spain may give him a chance in Qatar.
LW: Timo Werner (RasenBallsport Leipzig)
Timo Werner continues to struggle in finding his footing back in Germany after what can only be described as an abysmal period at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea but his record-setting two-goal performance for Leipzig in their 4-0 win against Bochum may go a long way to help his confidence grow.
CF: Niclas Füllkrug (Sportverein Werder Bremen)
Another frustrating campaign for Germany on the international scene in the UEFA Nations League still sees the European powerhouse crying out for a true center-forward that isn’t Kai Havertz shoe-horned into the role. Werder Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug bagged another two goals at the weekend and tops the goalscoring charts. What a time to find the form of his life.