Julian Draxler: From golden boy to Mr. Schalke

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The Age of the Super Strikers

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As Leo Messi continued to defy defenders, goalkeepers, logic or even the basic laws of the universe in the concluding scenes of this year by overcoming Gerd Muller’s record for the number of goals scored in a single calendar year, in a tantalising feat of self determination, an interesting situation arose. People celebrated the achievement then almost immediately questioned exactly what they were rejoicing.

For until the topic of ‘most goals scored in a calendar year’ had found itself at the heart of modern football’s overbearing gaze in late 2012, nobody had actually realised that the former German and Bayern Munich star had indeed managed such a feat.

Something’s not right here. Gerd Muller was no stranger to the World stage. In fact, he won fourteen trophies with Bayern Munich as well as conquering both the European Championships and the World Cup, so just how did nobody notice when he scored 85 goals in one calendar year?

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Five Players That Cover Copa América’s Personality Spectrum

By Stefan Bienkowski, writing from Glasgow

Arturo Vidal (Chile)

Considered by many, as the sole reason for Leverkusen’s fantastic second place finish in the Bundesliga this season. The Box-to-Box midfielder contributed 10 goals and 12 assists for Werkself and will be well aware that his ambition and talent may have outgrown the Rhine side by the end of the summer. Constantly linked to Bayern Munich (often by himself) and other top European sides – the midfielder will look to the Copa America as an opportunity to prove he can perform on the most important stage.

The Chilean was in excellent form for his country in last seasons World Cup, raising a few eyebrows, and setting an example to himself for the season he would then have with Leverkusen. 

The tenacious midfielder will have a determination to not only do well for his country, but to put himself firmly in the shopping window of Europe’s elite during this summer’s competition. Expect a drive and resolve from the Chilean handy man as he looks to take the correct steps in moving up his game.

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