Two more European leagues, the Polish Ekstraklasa and the Danish SuperLiga, have restarted play this week, following the lead of the Bundesliga, which now has had four matchdays since play was shut down to limit the spread of COVID-19. In the Bundesliga Fanatic tradition, we’ll highlight a few former Bundesliga players in the resumption of play, including one former Borussia Dortmund favorite.
Jakub Błaszczykowski (Wisla Krakow, Polish Ekstraklasa) The 34 year-old Pole was on the wrong end of Saturday’s 4-0 Wisla Krakow away loss to Piast Gliwice. In the Krakow starting XI on the right wing, Kuba played the entire match, picking up a yellow card during the Ekstraklasa MatchDay 27 contest. He is best known to Bundesliga fans for his years at Borussia Dortmund, where he arrived in 2007 from the same Wisla Krakow side that he plays for now. With Dortmund, Kuba won the Bundesliga title in 2010/2011 and helped the club to the double in 2011/2012. The following season Kuba was a key contributor to Dortmund’s run to the Champions League final, where they fell to Bayern Munich. All together, the winger played in 253 matches across all competitions for the yellow-blacks over eight seasons, scoring 32 goals, before spending a season on loan to Serie A side Fiorentina. He returned to Germany for the 2016/2017 campaign with VfL Wolfsburg, but after appearing in 28 league matches that season, he only featured nine times the following campaign. He joined Wisla Krakow on a free transfer in February, 2019, appearing in eight matches, and has scored five goals in 16 Ekstraklasa matches this season. Kuba has made 108 for the Polish national team since debuting with the senior squad in 2008, scoring 32 goals.
Iver Fossum (AaB, Danish SuperLiga) The former Hannover man was in the starting Xi and played the full 90 for Aalborg BK Sunday in their 1-1 away draw to Esbjerg FB The midfielder played for the 96ers from 2015-2019,,featuring in 62 matches in all competitions and helping the north German club with an immediate bounceback to the first tier after being demoted at the end of the 2015/2016 campaign. Fossum has made 18 starts for AsB this season, scoring once, Only 23 years old, he has also made 14 appearances for the Norwegian national team.
Tomáš Pekhart (Legia Warsaw, Polish Ekstraklasa) Pekhart started and scored the lone goal Saturday in Legia’s 0-1 win at Lech Poznan. It was the 2nd goal for the 31 year-old since he joined the Polish club in February on a two and a half year deal from Spanish side Las Palmas. Pekhart played in Germany between 2011 and 2015, featuring in 88 league matches with 1. FC Nurnberg while scoring 14 times for Der Club, and playing his last German season with FC Ingolstadt, although he only appeared four times for the Audi Boys. The well-traveled forward began his career in England in the Tottenham youth system, and got in a handful of games with Southampton in 2008 while on loan. He’s also played in the Czech Republic for Jablonec FK, Slavia and Sparta Prague, for AEK Athens and in Israel with Beer-Sheva. He’s represented the Czech Republic 19 times since 2010. Legia Warsaw top the league with 54 points after MatchDay 27, while Lech Poznan, the club where Bundesliga super striker Robert Lewandowski made his name, are 5th in the table on 42 points. Lewandowski scored 41 goals in 88 contests for Polish side and led Poznan to the 2009.2010 league title before signing with Borussia Dortmund in June, 2010 on a four-year contract.