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Young and talented

Promising debut for gifted newcomer Sosa

José Ernesto Sosa could hardly have dreamed of a better start at Bayern: the Argentine newcomer collected a trophy winner’s medal at the end of his first competitive outing for his new club. “What a debut: a champion after his first match in Germany. A pleasure not afforded to everyone,“ Argentine sports paper Olé declared on Sunday.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder spent a week on the sidelines with ankle ligament problems and was unable to appear in the League Cup ties against Bremen and Stuttgart. “Obviously I was disappointed,” Sosa reflected. He finally resumed training on Friday, but went straight into the team for Saturday’s final after injuries and illness prevented Franck Ribéry and Bastian Schweinsteiger from playing.

Flashes of brilliance

Initially deployed on the left flank, “he had a few problems getting into his stride,” coach Ottmar Hitzfeld commented. But as the game went on, “he improved and settled well. He delivered a couple of dangerous passes.“ It was clear that el principito (the little prince) was still short of full fitness, but the gifted schemer still managed to show flashes of his undoubted genius.

“The switch from Argentina has been slightly problematic, because we train very differently here. But I think we’ll thoroughly enjoy having him over the mid-term perspective,” Bayern manager Uli Hoeneß commented ahead of kick-off at the Leipzig Zentralstadion. The 90 minutes which followed served only to confirm the official’s opinion.

Excellent touch

“He’s capable of springing a surprise. He thinks two steps ahead, and we’ll benefit from his footballing intelligence,” Hitzfeld remarked. “He’s a major talent, but he’s not mature yet. He still needs a little time. But he’s an outstanding footballer and he’ll get plenty of appearances,“ the General continued.

Sosa might even have handed his side a 28th-minute lead, but he mis-hit his shot from Zé Roberto’s splendid through ball. However, the incident was forgotten by the time of the final whistle. “I’m just delighted I was able to play in this important match,” he smiled. José Ernesto Sosa will now be looking to expand his medal collection while on the books at Bayern.

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