A look back at the stars of March 2019 across Europe’s Top 5 Leagues.
Premier League – Sadio Mané, Liverpool
With Mohamed Salah firing blanks and Manchester City breathing down their necks, March 2019 could have been a disastrous month for Liverpool. Instead, however, Jürgen Klopp’s side walked away with 4 wins out of 5 in all competitions. Their marauding full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson deserve lots of credit, but Mané has been the main man in attack. He scored 3 goals in the Premier League, plus those 2 glorious goals against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Shout-outs to: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Wes Morgan (Leicester City)
La Liga – Lionel Messi, Barcelona
Messi said recently that he misses having Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid, but the lack of competition doesn’t seem to be affecting his performances at all. The Argentinian superstar registered an incredible 8 goals and 3 assists in March 2019 alone. Only 2 of those strikes were penalties and 2 were phenomenal free-kicks. But the best of all was his hat-trick goal against Real Betis: a sublime chip as he ran onto a pass just inside the penalty area. Right now in Spain, Messi really is in a league of his own.
Shout-outs to: Karl Toko Ekambi (Villarreal), Dani Parejo (Valencia)
Bundesliga – Max Kruse, Werder Bremen
At 31, Kruse is now a Bundesliga veteran, but March 2019 was arguably the best month of his whole career. Werder Bremen went into Germany’s winter break down in 10th place and now they’re up to 6th and climbing. Davy Klaassen and Nuri Şahin are pulling the strings in midfield, and their captain Kruse is banging in the goals up front - 6 in his last 4 matches. His movement is intelligent, and his left foot is clinical. It’s 3 years since Kruse’s last German cap, but in this kind of form, you can’t rule out a return.
Shout-outs to: Filip Kostić (Eintracht Frankfurt), James Rodríguez (Bayern Munich)
Serie A – Moise Kean, Juventus
In March 2019, Ronaldo didn’t score a single Serie A goal. So, who was firing them in for Juventus instead? Kean, their 19-year-old wonderkid. His first goal against Udinese was a tap-in, but his second was all his own work. The Italian international chased onto a loose ball, dribbled forward, did a couple of stepovers, and then poked a shot into the bottom corner. Against Empoli, Kean came on in the second-half and 3 minutes later, he scored the winner. In terms of impact, you could call that Ronaldo-esque.
Shout-outs to: Joaquín Correa (Lazio), Erick Pulgar (Bologna)
Ligue 1 – Mario Balotelli, Marseille
After spending half a season sulking at Nice, Balotelli finally got the Marseille move he wanted in January. There were always going to be fireworks, but would they be the good kind or the bad kind? So far, so good. Balotelli scored 4 goals in March 2019, including an acrobatic volley against Saint-Étienne and the winner against his old club Nice. We’ll have to wait and see whether his form fizzles out.
Shout-outs to: Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Erik Pieters (Amiens)