Player: Papiss Demba Cissé (Newcastle United FC)
The Senegal forward has been a revelation since his January arrival from Bundesliga outfit SC Freiburg. Cissé has become the figurehead of a Newcastle side who are making a late surge for a UEFA Champions League berth with five wins out of five in the Premier League. The 26-year-old scored his tenth top-flight goal in nine games in a 2-0 victory against Bolton Wanderers FC on Monday. "I know the No9 shirt is a huge thing in Newcastle — a monumental honour," said Cissé. "Alan Shearer set the bar very high and I must try to follow that."
Team: Linfield FC
Linfield claimed their 51st Northern Irish title, the club's seventh in nine years, thanks to a 2-1 victory against second-placed Portadown FC on Saturday. "I am delighted and ecstatic," said manager Davd Jeffrey, who has won 29 trophies since taking charge in January 1997 but is still up to date with popular culture. "There is a great team spirit at this club and the players know they are all in this together. It's like the Rihanna song, The Only Girl in the World – none of my players think they are the only player in the squad."
Goal: Stefano Mauri (S.S. Lazio)
Lazio are in pole position for Serie A's third UEFA Champions League spot after beating fellow contenders SSC Napoli 3-1. The undoubted highlight was Mauri's stunning bicycle kick, the midfielder connecting perfectly with Stefan Radu's cross to rifle the ball past a helpless Morgan De Sanctis."I was lucky," said the 32-year-old, who joined his team-mates in wearing black armbands in memory of the late Lazio and Italy striker Giorgio Chinaglia. "I saw the cross, tried the bicycle kick and it went well. We all played for Chinaglia, he was a real Lazio symbol."
"Football is about passion, dedication and sacrifice. If one has the humility to learn, the patience to wait for the right moment to come and the willingness to achieve, then one will have a big chance to make it to top-level football."
Malta's 118-cap midfielder Gilbert Agius shares his infinite widsom after scoring the 182nd goal of his Valletta FC career. The 38-year-old's header helped his side beat second-placed Hibernians FC 3-2 to go six points clear at the summit.
Arsenal FC's Robin van Persie has been in prolific form this term with 27 goals in 33 league games. The forward's penalty in the 3-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC on Wednesday meant he became only the second player, along with former Gunners star Ian Wright, to score against 17 different Premier League teams in one season.
Keeping it in the family
Daniel Veselý became the fourth generation of his family to represent SK Slavia Praha in the Czech top flight. The 19-year-old came on as a substitute in a 2-0 victory against FK Viktoria Žižkov and follows in the footsteps of great grandfather František, grandfather František and father František. "I have a great respect for our family tradition," Veselý told UEFA.com. "I know the fans expect a lot from me because I have a very famous name and I am ready to work hard to achieve what all the great footballers in my family did."
FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk forward Dmitri Komarovski had never managed more than two goals in a game before scoring three times in five minutes to register the fastest hat-trick in Belarusian Premier League history on Tuesday. The former Belarusian Under-21 international grabbed a fourth late on as Shakhtyor went top with an emphatic 7-0 victory against FC Minsk, who had previously kept three clean sheets on the bounce. "We were lucky but we deserved that luck," said an elated Komarovski. "It was the ideal scenario as virtually every shot hit the target."
Galatasaray AŞ's Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera followed in the footsteps of many a South American when he scored the first goal of his career in the 4-0 triumph against Manisaspor last weekend. Muslera's successful penalty made him the first Cimbom custiodian to register since Zoran Simović's spot kick in the 1988/89 season. "Not every goalkeeper gets such a chance," he said after converting from the spot with the permission of Fatih Terim. "I want to thank my coach for letting me take it."
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