Bundesliga Team Of The Week: Round 1

Mathew Burt runs the rule over the best in Germany from the Bundesliga’s opening round of fixtures.
Champions Wolfsburg opened with a win on Friday against Stuttgart, while Bayern Munich were held to a draw by Hoffenheim. Werder Bremen crashed to a 3-2 home defeat to Frankfurt, while Felix Magath got off to a winning start at Schalke.  

Bochum staged a fantastic comeback from three goals down against Moenchengladbach, while fellow promoted side Mainz drew with Bayer Leverkusen.    


(1) Faryd Mondragon (Koeln)  

The Koeln keeper frustrated Dortmund all afternoon with some fantastic saves and was only beaten by an own goal. The BVB strikers peppered his goal with over a dozen shots but he denied them all. The Columbian veteran didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.       .


(2)  Josip Simunic (Hoffenheim)  

The Croat was one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga last season while at Hertha and his debut for Hoffenheim showed that he will once again shine this season.  He did very well against Ivica Olic and kept Mario Gomez very quiet. 
(3)  Felipe Santana (Borussia Dortmund)  

The fact that Koeln had hardly any chances to score in Dortmund and that Roman Weidenfeller was under-used in goal can be attributed to Brazilian centre-back Felipe Santana. He produced a strong defensive showing and even hit the bar with a header at the other end.      

(4)  Marcel Schaefer (Wolfsburg)  

The Wolfsburg left-back was secure at the back, but also extremely dangerous going forward. He put in a number of dangerous crosses and on this form he will be hopeful of an appearance for Germany in their midweek World Cup qualifier.    


(5)  Selim Teber (Eintracht Frankfurt)  

The summer signing from Hoffenheim wasn’t welcomed with open arms by the Frankfurt faithful due to the fact that he had previously played for rivals Kaiserslautern and Mannheim, but after his great performance against Werder, the fans may be warming to him. He was everywhere on Saturday and was one of the factors behind the win.     

(6)  Zvjezdan Misimovic (Wolfsburg)  

Misimovic provided the most assists in the Bundesliga last season and started the current campaign in a similar vein. However, on this occasion he turned goalscorer, finishing superbly to open the scoring against Stuttgart.   

(7)  Mimoun Azaouagh (Bochum)  

What a superb performance from the diminutive midfielder. He scored two fantastic long-range efforts to help get his side back into the game from 3-0 down and rescue a remarkable point.    

(8)  Juan Arango (Bor.Moenchengladbach)  

The big summer signing for Gladbach was Arango, and the Fohlen fans didn’t have long to wait to see why trainer Michael Frontzeck rates him so highly. He scored one, setup another and was the best player in the Borussia side.    


(9)  Ioannis Amanatidis (Eintracht Frankfurt)  

Demoted as captain, the Greek had something to prove, and he did just that against Werder Bremen. He scored twice in the first half to show what a professional he is. It was just a shame that injury forced him off at half-time, denying him the chance of an opening day hat trick.

(10)  Kevin Kuranyi (Schalke)  

New Schalke trainer Felix Magath instantly looks to have got the best out of striker Kevin Kuranyi. The former German international scored with two clinical finishes to almost single-handedly lead the Koenigsblauen to victory over Nurnberg.   

(11)  Stanislav Sestak (Bochum)  

The Slovakian was one of the key players in Bochum’s second half fightback against Moenchengladbach. He setup the first two Bochum goals for Azaouagh and then scored the third himself, capping a fine display.


Simunic   Santana   Schaefer

Teber   Misimovic   Azaouagh   Arango

Amanatidis   Kuranyi   Sestak

Honourable mentions:  

As always there are a number of players, who deserve a special mention, despite having not made it into the final XI.   

Custodian Jens Lehmann did well for Stuttgart against Wolfsburg, keeping Grafite and Dzeko out until late in the second-half. In the same game, Wolfsburg’s Sascha Riether and goalscorer Grafite impressed.  
Arne Friedrich marshalled the Hertha defence well in the absence of former partner Josip Simunic.  In the Berlin midfield, Serb Gojko Kacar played very well, scoring the winning goal.  

Alex Meier (Frankfurt), Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich) and Dennis Diekmeier (Nurnberg) also impressed on the opening weekend. 

Mathew Burt, Goal.com