Only Giovani dos Santos, Hector Herrera, Carlos Vela, Rafael Marquez, Raul Jimenez, and Javier Aquino played this past weekend in Europe, which included a Monday because both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid played the Spanish Super Cup final last Friday evening.
Some were not even called up for matches as was the case for Diego Reyes and Jonathan dos Santos; others observed the entirety of their team’s game from the bench, like Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Guillermo Ochoa, and others were nearing an exit from their current club like Andres Guardado. As the new season has opened, Hector Moreno continues his rehabilitation in Barcelona.
Marquez played 90 minutes in Hellas Verona’s Coppa Italia match against Cremonese. The game finished with a 3-0 scoreline for Marquez’s new team. The next game for "Rafa" will be his Serie A debut versus Atalanta on Sunday.
Vela came on in the second half for Real Sociedad in a match that saw the debut of SD Eibar in La Liga. The final score was 1-0 for Eibar. Vela appeared in the striker position, in part because striker Alfreo Finnbogason is out injured. After being out for much of the pre-season with plantar fasciitis, little by little Vela is returning to his best form; La Real will need it. Vela’s next game is on Thursday in Russia against FC Krasnodar.
Herrera and Giovani Dos Santos started their weeks on the same page as both scored important goals for their teams in the Champions League and Europa League’s preliminary rounds. It should be of no surprise that both Gio and Herrera are starting the season on the same page; both had great World Cup showings last summer.
It was Herrera who had the formidable display in the World Cup, but it was Gio who scored that goal against the Netherlands that almost took El Tri to the World Cup quarter-finals.
Dos Santos played about 70 minutes in Villarreal’s 2-0 win over Levante sans Keylor Navas, while Herrera came on in the last 30 minutes of the league match vs. Pacos de Ferreira, which ended with a 0-1 win for FC Porto.
Herrera’s next game is on Tuesday vs. Lille, while Gio’s next game will be on Thursday against FC Astana.