February Players of the Month
Goalkeeper of the month: Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)
A former Manchester United player, Zieler had a spectacular February, with a Man of the Match performance in Hannover’s 1-0 win over Hoffenheim the highlight of the month. Zieler was also outstanding in his team’s 2-0 loss to Werder Bremen, pulling off 10 saves and saving his team from certain embarrassment. Whether it’s coming out to claim crosses or saving from one-on-one situations, Zieler has proved his mettle this year and is rightfully our Goalkeeper of the Month for February.
Defender of the month: Raphael Varane
The young Frenchman only arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu last summer, but his impact is already being noticed.
Although he missed Real’s victories against Sevilla (4-1) and Deportivo La Coruna (2-1), Varane had skipped those games to serve a greater purpose.
Despite losing their opening game in February at Granada (1-0), Varane was present in the capital side’s defence as they beat Rayo Vallecano in the league.
What was of greater importance was the Frenchman’s contribution in the cup games. He scored that crucial third goal to seal Real’s win at the Camp Nou as they knocked Barcelona out of the Copa del Rey and held English Premier League giants Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu when it seemed likely that the Red Devils would put more than one past the home team.
With close to 40% of the votes, Raphael Varane is our Defender of the Month for February.
Midfielder of the month: Bastian Schweinsteiger
The German international is the fulcrum of the Bayern side that managed to win all of its games in all competitions in the month of February. Schweinsteiger has one of the best motors in football, which enables him to protect the back four whenever called upon while providing the first point of attack on many occasions. His immense control of the centre of the pitch was evident in his performance in DFB Pokal against the dangerous Borussia Dortmund.
Chipping in with goals and timely assists doesn’t hurt either. If not for hitting the post twice against Hoffenheim, his tally would have been much greater.
With close to 67% of the votes, the German midfield maestro wins Midfielder of the Month for February.
Striker of the month: Cristiano Ronaldo
Key stats – Minutes played: 456 Goals: 6 Assists: 1
February saw a number of star-spattered clashes all around the footballing world; none, however, greater than the one between Manchester United and Real Madrid. This brought Cristiano Ronaldo face-to-face with his former club for the first time since his move to Madrid, and was billed as a test of more than just his footballing skills. He aced the test with a towering header past De Gea, which earned his team a draw, and gives them a good chance at progress. Apart from that, Ronaldo was up to business as usual in the league, as well as in the Copa del Rey, where an emphatic brace sunk Barcelona’s hopes of achieving the treble.
Cristiano Ronaldo wins Striker of the month for the second month running in 2013.