Bundesliga Player of the Week – Mad Max in Kruse control

Spread the news

A cult hero as far as the German top flight goes, our Bundesliga Player of the Week is …

Max Kruse (Union Berlin)

Max Kruse is the rarest of modern footballers.

Sometimes controversial, often elegant, and somehow so very approachable. He was missed in the Bundesliga last season, when he left Germany for the first time in his career to play for Fenerbahçe.

But the 32-year-old is back and he’s as brilliant as ever.

Kruse doesn’t really look like a top-level footballer, not until he gets the ball. And then he comes to life. As he did early on when Union visited Hoffenheim on Monday, sliding strike partner Taiwo Awoniyi through on the break. The ex-Liverpool man couldn’t convert.

So Kruse took it upon himself to open the scoring from the penalty spot. It was another stunning ball from Kruse to Awoniyi that set Union on their way and Sebastian Griesbeck was brought down in the box.

Kruse cooly converted the 15th penalty of his Bundesliga career, from 15 attempts. One more and he will set a new Bundesliga record for consecutive penalties without a miss.

And he was only just getting started. Hoffenheim equalised with just 10 minutes to go but was Kruse’s quality was more than enough to swing the game back in Union’s favour. Even head coach Urs Fischer had to admit that, as hard as he tried not to.

“I don’t think he alone makes the difference. He needs his team-mates for that,” Fischer said after the game. “But, obviously, for the 2-1 and the 3-1 goals you could see Max’s quality.”

First, a superb bit of movement and calmly placed pass across the box saw Joel Pohjanpalo convert to restore the lead. Moments later, a sublime halfway-line turn and a deft through-ball sent Pohjanpalo through again but he could only hit the post.

There was, though, still time for another. Union broke away, Kruse went through on goal, and he unselfishly laid the ball on a plate for Cedric Teuchert to secure the win.

It was, as Fischer pointed out, a true team effort. And a fantastic one. But Kruse showed throughout that, even at 32, he belongs among the very best players in German football.

Spread the news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

track image