World Football

Lewandowski's Last Stand and the Top 5 Players Around the World This Weekend

Ryan BaileyFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2014

Lewandowski's Last Stand and the Top 5 Players Around the World This Weekend

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    Michael Sohn/Associated Press

    Saturday was a bittersweet day for Borussia Dortmund fans. They watched their hero, Robert Lewandowski, put in a vintage performance against Hertha Berlin, knowing it was his final game for the club and that his likely destination next season is among bitter rivals Bayern Munich. 

    Nevertheless, the Pole took pole position (sorry) in the German goalscoring charts with his brace at the weekend, and he leads our list of the top five performers from world football.

Robert Lewandowski

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    Borussia Dortmund completed their 2013/14 season with a 4-0 win over Hertha Berlin at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday. 

    The star of the show was Lewandowski, who was playing his final league game for BvB before his summer transfer to Bayern Munich.

    The Pole gave Die Schwarzgelben a lovely parting gift in the form of two goals, the second of which was a delightful 25-yard free-kick.

    Not only was the brace impressive because it came on his swansong, but the Pole went into the game tying with Mario Mandzukic for the Bundesliga Golden Boot on 18 goals. This performance brought his tally to 20 and therefore earned him the prestigious accolade.

Dwight Gayle

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    It's been a pretty decent week at the office for Dwight Gayle.

    On Monday, the Crystal Palace striker came off the bench to stun Liverpool with a brace, and he bagged another two goals in the final game of the season at Craven Cottage. 

    The 23-year-old opened the scoring when he connected with a long-range Joel Ward strike to put the Eagles in the lead with seven minutes to go with a cleverly taken free-kick. 

    Chris David may have stolen the show with a fantastic equaliser at the death, but Gayle deserves recognition for his talismanic performance.

Charles

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    At this point, it seems quite clear that no one in Spain really wants to win the league title. In a potentially decisive round of penultimate games, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona all failed to achieve maximum points.

    Los Blancos officially ruled themselves out of the race with a calamitous 2-0 loss at Celta Vigo.  

    The Galician side earned their third consecutive win thanks to the efforts of Brazilian forward Charles, who capitalised on two poor defensive errors to earn himself a brace.

    His first was a skilful finish after Sergio Ramos slipped up, while his second saw him latch onto a woeful Xabi Alonso back pass.

    According to WhoScored.com, Charles had four shots at goal—more than anyone else on the field—after taking only 26 touches.

Andre Schurrle

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Chelsea may have ended the season without any silverware, but they bowed out of 2013/14 on a high note thanks to super sub Andre Schurrle. 

    With the Blues trailing to relegated Cardiff by a Craig Bellamy goal for much of the game, the German midfielder was introduced in the 66th minute for Jon Obi Mikel. Six minutes later, he had found the equaliser by volleying home from a rebounded Cesar Azpilicueta attempt.

    Three minutes after that, Schurrle nodded the ball into the path of Fernando Torres, who scored the winner in what might have been his final game in Chelsea colours.

Mateo Kovacic

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    The headlines from Lazio's visit to Internazionale may have been dominated by departing hero Javier Zanetti, but the game itself was dominated by midfielder Mateo Kovacic. 

    The match ended 4-1 to the home side, with the 20-year-old Croatian turning in a game-changing performance by providing three assists. 

    Kovacic's brilliant through ball set up Rodrigo Palacio for the equaliser after seven minutes, and he delivered a sublime outside-of-the-foot pass to Mauro Icardi for Inter's second after 34 minutes. With 11 minutes to go, he also assisted Hernanes for Inter's fourth of the day. 

    It's little wonder that the unselfish star is a transfer target for Manchester United, according to talkSPORT, and Liverpool, according to the Metro

     

    Follow me on Twitter @RyanJayBailey 

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