Former Barcelona and Inter Milan star Samuel Eto’o has announced on social media his retirement from football after 22-years as a professional player.
The 38-year-old former Cameroonian international played for 13 clubs but started his career with a brief period at Real Madrid, before moving to Mallorca then Barcelona, where he played for five years and won three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies.
After his success at Barca, Inter Milan came knocking and a swap deal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic was agreed.
At Inter and under Jose Mourinho, Eto’o won Serie A and the Champions League trophy in 2010.
Eto’o then arrived in the Premier League and played for Chelsea and Everton.
He then played for Sampdoria, Antalyaspor, Konyaspor and Qatar SC before finally hanging his boots on Friday.
There’s a lot of European football to consume on a weekly basis and plenty of top performances that warrant our attention.
Whether it’s a flurry of goals from a single player or underrated contributions that had big impacts, we’re keeping an eye on them.
As such, after every round of fixtures in Europe’s top five leagues, we pick out the outstanding performers and slot them into our Team of the Week.
Here’s our latest selection.
GK: ANTHONY LOPES | LYON
Ironically, Anthony Lopes’ most eye-catching action came in the build-up to Bordeaux’s equaliser.
The team came under pressure after Thiago Mendes’ red card and after initially punching away a cross from the left, he made a spectacular save to deny Nicolas de Preville but could do nothing to stop Jimmy Briand’s effort on the rebound. His five saves in total though helped salvage a point.
RB: BENJAMIN PAVARD | BAYERN MUNICH
It’s not often that a defender is the standout player when Bayern Munich score six goals but Benjamin Pavard was just that impressive. He was a little at fault for Mainz’s early goal but he definitely made up for that lapse.
He scored with a terrific half-volley that resembled his World Cup strike for France and levelled the tie before setting up Ivan Perisic with a great cross to net the third. He remained solid at the back and composed in possession as the Bavarians pulled away.
CB: JANNIK VESTERGAARD | SOUTHAMPTON
Victor Lindelof is a very good centre-back, but he was utterly dominated by Jannik Vestergaard when the duo rose for a cross and the Southampton man emphatically buried his header past David De Gea.
The Dane also led the back-line superbly, reading the game well and making five interceptions while denying Marcus Rashford space and time.
CB: FABIAN SCHAR | NEWCASTLE UNITED
Fabian Schar scored four goals for Newcastle United last season and that makes him the top scorer from the previous campaign who’s still at the club. He opened his account for this term with a scrappy strike that nevertheless earned the Magpies a point against Watford.
The Swiss also impressed in defence, never putting a foot wrong.
LB: DANILO | JUVENTUS
He simply couldn’t have hoped for a better introduction. Having been used as a makeweight in Joao Cancelo’s move to Manchester City, Danilo came off the bench against Napoli in the 15th minute to replace the injured Mattia De Sciglio.
Within a minute, he initiated a counter-attack after Juventus defended a corner and applied the finishing touch in the opposition’s box. He also managed to keep both Lorenzo Insigne and the drifting Dries Mertens quiet.
RM: GARETH BALE | REAL MADRID
Gareth Bale was a threat right from the start against Villarreal and deserved his tap in from Dani Carvajal’s pass. With five minutes on the clock, he rescued Los Blancos with his second, cutting inside and finding the near corner to secure a 2-2 draw.
He was also sent off before the final whistle but his second booking was rather harsh. He’s certainly playing like he has a point to prove.
CM: YOURI TIELEMANS | LEICESTER CITY
Fortunate not to be sent off for a challenge on Callum Wilson but on the ball, Youri Tielemans was certainly impressed. No Leicester City player had more shots (4) or key passes (2) than the Belgian in the 3-1 victory over Bournemouth.
He was alert to bundle in his side’s second and played an instinctive first-time pass into Jamie Vardy for the third that secured the three points.
CM: DAVID SILVA | MANCHESTER CITY
The entire Premier League fanbase, let alone City, must be bitterly disappointed that David Silva will no longer grace English football with his elegant play-making come next season.
The 33-year-old was hugely influential as the champions brushed Brighton aside with a 4-0 win. Always on the move, he regularly found space in dangerous areas and provided two assists. Should’ve had a goal himself but he narrowly missed the target when Raheem Sterling squared the ball to him in the first half.
LM: ROBERTO TORRES | OSASUNA
His two goals put defending champions Barcelona to the sword and secured a vital point for Osasuna in a 2-2 draw. Roberto Torres stunned the Catalans in the seventh minute with a perfectly executed left-footed volley, dispatching Brandon’s cross from the right into the far corner.
He showed great composure to convert a late penalty as well while his overall contribution was also immense. He had eight shots, as many as the entire Barca team mustered, and also played three key passes.
ST: TIMO WERNER| RB LEIPZIG
Timo Werner’s hat-trick against Borussia Monchengladbach perfectly encapsulated what he’s all about. He showed blistering pace and the composure to finish with all three goals.
His second strike in particular saw him latch on to a loose ball, turn on the afterburners and leave the defenders for dead. However, it’s the link-up play with Emil Forsberg for the first and the fact that he made four key passes that will catch Bayern Munich’s eye after he recently signed a new deal that includes a surprisingly low release clause of just €30 million.
ST: DOMENICO BERARDI| SASSUOLO
A first-half hat-trick against Sampdoria sees Domenico Berardi claim the final spot in our XI. In a superb display of centre-forward play, the 25-year-old steered in a low cross from the left to open the scoring before nodding in another seven minutes later.
The Italian then showed his range as a striker, cutting in from the right and curling his hat-trick goal into the far corner. In his first appearance this term, he’s already nearly halfway to equalling his tally from last season (8).
Juventus assistant coach Giovanni Martusciello hailed his side’s never-say-die spirit after a late own goal clinched them victory in a seven-goal thriller against Napoli in Turin.
Juve surrendered a 3-0 lead in the second half before Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly’s stoppage-time own goal gifted them victory.
Cristiano Ronaldo looked to have put the game beyond Napoli when he struck Juve’s third goal just after the hour-mark following first-half efforts from substitute Danilo, on his debut, and Gonzalo Higuain, against his former club.
Napoli hit back with two second-half goals in as many minutes from Kostas Manolas and Hirving Lozano and then Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s late equaliser, but Koulibaly turned the ball into his own net in the second minute of added time.
“We had an important physical decline, and against a strong team that dribble like Napoli, that was the thing that put us in difficulty,” Martusciello told a post-match press conference.
“At 3-0 we had a ‘full belly’ and we allowed Napoli to come back. But what really strikes me about this group is the fact that they never give up, and that in moments of difficulty, it brings out something more.”
Juve also handed a debut to Matthijs De Ligt, in place of injured skipper Giorgio Chiellini, and Martusciello was satisfied with the Dutch defender’s first appearance following his £67.5million move from Ajax.
“De Ligt? He comes from a team that defended differently, in a league that is not the Italian one,” Martusciello added.
“He also played well for an hour, then his condition was lacking a bit. But he is a player of the highest level.”
Martusciello has been carrying out media duties in the absence of Maurizio Sarri, who watched Juve beat his former club from the stands following his recovery from pneumonia.
Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti could not hide his disappointment at the manner of his side’s defeat and their performance.
“We conceded two goals with our defence in position. We need to mark tighter in the box,” the former Chelsea manager said.
“This was a missed opportunity tonight. We started playing football after an hour. I would have been disappointed even if we had drawn.
“The comeback is the only positive. I’m disappointed with the overall performance.”
Provided by Press Association Sport