The Beermat Best Player In The World (Today)

Often in midweek we at Beermat HQ have to make the most of very little.  The weekend is where the spine of our footballing universe exists and as such we often have to fill this column with all sorts just to make ends meet.  Today however, we have a full on card of Champions League football to address – and not all of it was in Europe…

The search is over!  Fans of random Newcastle players from the late 2000s can rejoice.  We’ve found him.  To be perfectly honest, there’s more than a small part of us that wants to give this gentleman the award just for continuing to exist.  Xisco – not the rapper with the platinum hair who came to prominence earlier in the decade – was spotted on the east coast of Australia sometime around 10am GMT (which is much later in Aussie time fyi).  He took the field as part of Muang Thong United.  If their official club anthem is The Thong Song then they might be our favourite team ever right now.  Unfortunately their on the field ability isn’t quite as on par as their hilarity factor and they drew 0-0 with Brisbane Roar.  If only Xisco had unleashed the dragon

Someone who is never afraid to show everyone what he’s capable of (but who prefers to do it in some very peripheral league), Hulk led Shanghai SIPG to an impressive away victory in Seoul with this thunderbolt.  There’s definitely some subtle comic book geekery going in that last sentence, but we’ll let you work it out for yourselves.


On now to something truly marvellous (comic books – marvel.  We are seamlessly good.  So much so that explaining ourselves doesn’t even slow us down).  Tonight’s European Cup games were truly worthy of breaking out it’s older, more prestigious moniker.  The last two encounters between Atletico and Leverkusen were won by a solitary goal and many expected something similar this time around.  It was a completely different kettle of fish in this time around however.  Gameiro and Griezmann providing a huge threat all game for the Bayer back line before Fernando Torres came on late and finished the job.  Let’s not forget too, that goal from Saul Niguez which was straight out of the top draw and started it all off.  Six goals, bags of talent on display (even if too many of the home side didn’t really turn up) and it wasn’t the game of the night.  It wasn’t even close.

One thing you would have thought following PSG’s decimation of Barcelona last week is that we kind of have to curb the jokes about Ligue 1.  For now. At the very least you’d think that a victory like this would have made those plotting Man City’s passage through this tie would make sure that no-one would now take the French side lightly. And to be fair, it’s not even that this was the case, it’s more so that Monaco were absolutely on it right from the get go.   Caballero’s penalty save probably won’t be the pivotal moment in the tie given that there’s another ninety to go but it was certainly the moment where City finally got a handle on the match.  Even after Falcao cancelled out Aguero’s equaliser with that sumptuous chipped finish, there was always much more in the tank for Pep Guardiola’s men.

In a world that loathes the cliche, that’s onto the next thing even before what’s going on now has even finished, sometimes we have to make sure to acknowledge the obvious.  Sergio Aguero may never quite break through the ceiling that puts him on a level with Messi and Ronaldo (surely you’d just use the stairs anyway?) but that’s not to say he’s one of the best forwards the Premier League has ever seen.  The emergence and subsequent injury to Gabriel Jesus coupled with Pep Guardiola’s style of play may mean that the rest of this season could perhaps be an elongated farewell tour.  But let’s face it.  He scored perhaps the most dramatic league goal in English football (it’s top five definitely, and we’re only cautious because of the sheer amount of history we’re trying to brush aside).  If anyone has earned it, so many times before and again but most of all; today, he has

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