Canadian footballers may not yet be the toast of Europe, but 2020/21 has certainly been a season of unprecedented success.
Just yesterday at the neat little Raymond Kopa Stadium in Angers, France, Canada’s most talented striker Jonathan David (21), became a title-winner for the first time in his fledgling career.
Playing up top for Lille OSC, he scored the first goal and won the penalty for the second as his team claimed the three points needed to pip mighty Paris-St-Germain, Mbappe, Neymar et al, to an unlikely French Ligue 1 title - only the fourth in their history.
But he’s not the only Canadian to hit the heights this season. In fact he’s not even the only Canadian to hit the heights this past weekend. Midfielder David Wotherspoon playing with St. Johnstone from the town of Perth, was named man of The Match in the 136th Scottish Cup Final.
The Saints defeated Hibernian 1-0 to secure a Scottish Cup double this season - they’d also earlier defeated Livingston in the League Cup Final - and in so doing became only the fourth club in history to achieve the feat.
Wotherspoon’s man of the Match award against his old club was no doubt inspired by his laying on of the winning goal for team-mate Shaun Rooney who headed home in the 32nd minute.
Still in Scotland, Scotty Arfield played a key role in Rangers’ first Scottish Premier League title for ten seasons; that success was achieved a few weeks ago of course, after Celtic’s challenge dissipated well before the finish line appeared in sight.
Of course there’s Alphonso Davies, who won his third successive Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich and found himself named in the Bundesliga Team of the Season for 2020/21.
In Turkey double winners Besiktas included automatic choices Atiba Hutchinson and Cyle Larin. Hutchinson played in 36 of the 40 Super Lig matches finding the net 4 times, while Larin finished joint-second top scorer in the league with 19 in 38 appearances. Both also played in the 2-0 Turkish Cup final victory over Antalyspor.
And last but not least a sixth Canadian Championship title winner this season in Europe was national team goalkeeper Milan Borjan. Borjan won his fourth Serbian Super League title in-a-row with Red Star Belgrade.
It’s his sixth national title win in the last seven seasons, having picked up the first two in Bulgaria with Ludogorets Razgrad.
Never before has Canada been so well celebrated in some of Europe’s most prominent clubs. It’ll be a hard act to follow, but long may it continue...
Check out the latest, The Ball Is Round Podcast (Episode 31). Recorded last evening, the TBIR team previewed next weekend’s Chicago Fire v CFM clash (with special guest Danny Santaromita of The Athletic and The Chicago Soccer Conversation podcast), and dissected the disappointing performance and loss to FC Cincinnati....
They also discussed the Sam Piette situation and, the Montreal football issues of the week and covered all the usual favourite features... including, Eve’s Time Machine, Sam’s Social Media & Hady’s CHOICES... Don’t miss it!
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