Die Mannschaft delivery service
After witnessing Miroslav Klose and Lucas Podolski dismantle the Aussies, one has to wonder: why couldn’t these guys do it all season for their clubs? Klose spent most of the year buried on the bench in Bayern, while Podolski wasn’t considered Bayern material anymore and shipped off to FC Koln, where he was terrible. How do they instantly become scoring machines when they put on a Germany shirt?
They aren’t the only players who seem to play well for either club or country but not both. Great club-only players include the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Diego Milito, Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi, and every English goalkeeper in the last 15 years. Great national teamers include Gilberto Silva, Fanis Gekas, Fabio Cannavaro (of late his club form has been poor), and Roque Santa Cruz.
There are, of course, players that excel at both club and national levels (Landon Donovan, Kaka, and the entire Spanish team come to mind), but the answer to club/country inconsistency has remained a talking point for years. Maybe it’s the style of play, the passion (or lack therof) for their country, or the differing managers’ philosophy, but whatever the reason expect some superstars to flourish and others to flounder over the next month.