Christian Pulisic hype train leaves Madrid station

Until now, the European media have been rather cautious about heaping praise on Christian Pulisic.

From an American perspective, Pulisic is a once-in-a-generation player. In a major talent-producing European country like Spain, Germany or France, players like Pulisic come along two or three at a time.

But with Ousmane Dembele sold to Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund in first place in the Bundesliga -- five wins and one tie, 14 goals in the last three games -- the spotlight has started to shine more closely on Pulisic.

Bundesliga "Top-Spieler"
1. Mark Uth, Hoffenheim, 2.30
2. Jean-Kevin Augustin, RB Leipzig 2.38
3. Christian Pulisic, Borussia Dortmund 2.40
3. Maximilian Philipp, Borussia Dortmund 2.40
5. Santiago Ascacibar, VfB Stuttgart 2.50
5. Dennis Geiger, Hoffenheim 2.50
5. Nuri Sahin, Borussia Dortmund 2.50
5. Yann Sommer, Bor. M'Gladbach 2.50
Note: Kicker average player ratings.

Pulisic isn't the only player who has been playing well for Dortmund -- indeed, first-year players Maximilian Philipp and Andriy Yarmolenko might start ahead of him on the wings Tuesday against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League -- but the Madrid media have decided to jump on the Pulisic hype train.

El Mundo called Pulisic "El Figo yanki" after former Portuguese great Luis Figo, who played for Real Madrid (and Barcelona) and who was Pulisic's hero as a child. Don Balon referred to Pulisic as "el nuevo Figo" for his style of play.

El Mundo noted that Pulisic, at the age of 19, already has the No. 10 on his back when he plays for the national team and he is already the great American hope.

Without identifying any sources, Don Balon reported Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, after losing Dembele to Barcelona, has his sights set on signing Pulisic, who would be, Don Balon was quick to remind its readers, the first American to play for Real Madrid.

Pulisic has already played against Real Madrid. In only his second Champions League appearance last season, he came off the bench to help set up Dortmund's late goal in its 2-2 tie at the Signal-Iduna-Park.

Pulisic, who has started five of six Bundesliga games and Dortmund's opening Champions League, does not seem to be concerned about whether he starts or comes off the bench.

"We have a lot of good players," he told the Bundesliga Web site, "so we know that anyone we put on the field is going to do a good job and that's what's happening at the moment. We feel really good right now. We're confident and we'll take it from there."

Borussia Dortmund's new guard:
28 Omer Toprak (Bayer Leverkusen)
27 Andriy Yarmolenko (Dynamo Kiev/UKR)
23 Maximilian Philipp (Freiburg)
23 Jeremy Toljan (Hoffenheim)
21 Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia M'Gladbach)
18 Dan-Axel Zagadou (Paris SG/FRA)

10 comments about "Christian Pulisic hype train leaves Madrid station".
  1. John Mcdermott, September 26, 2017 at 7:39 a.m.

    Pulisić would do well to stay right where he is for a couple of seasons, at least. Hype based on future expectations is one thing. A solid record of achievement at a top club is something else again. Dortmund clearly believes in him and his path there is clear. At Madrid his progress could easily stall and his career would suffer. Borussia Dortmund might not be Real Madrid, or even Bayern Munich. But they are a VERY big club in one of the very best leagues in the world.

  2. charles davenport replied, September 26, 2017 at 8:25 a.m.

    absolutely correct!

  3. Mario Cesarone replied, September 26, 2017 at 8:45 a.m.

    Amen. We see that sort of derailement often enough.

  4. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, September 26, 2017 at 9:44 a.m.

    He'll surely be at Dortmund the rest of this season but after the world cup he may have some offers, if he plays well for Dortmund and the US (assuming we qualify of course). You can't forget salary when considering a potential move. I'm sure Real Madrid pays a lot more and this is Christian's career. He only has so many years of earning potential.

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, September 26, 2017 at 12:29 p.m.

    Agreed John. Hard to see how a 19 year old leaving a starting job at a champions league club that believes in and wants him can be improved on. The match time is invaluable. Plus Dortmund actually is committed to starting young players as part of its club values.

  6. Rusty Welch, September 26, 2017 at 10:57 a.m.

    Considering that he just signed an extension with Dortmund through 2020 in January of this year, I will be surprised to see him go anywhere else before then. While Dortmund has Castro, Gotze, Sahin, Dahoud, Weigl, Kagawa (and Shurrle, Rode and Sancho) all listed as mids, Pulisic is still shining. He seems loyal to the club, the fans and teammates love him, and he continues to work hard and get better. He plays on a team that should challenge for the Bundesliga crown while playing in Champions League every year.
    Wherever he plays (now and future), our family is rooting for his continued success - he's a pleasure to watch on the pitch, and a great representative for the U.S..
    Keep it up Christian!

  7. Kent James, September 26, 2017 at 11:06 a.m.

    Boy, it's nice to even have such a conversation about a young American player!

  8. Paul Stierle, September 26, 2017 at 11:35 a.m.

    Amen, Kent, To be talking about him is awesome. He seems level headed and I pray for no injuries in such a demanding sport. Hamstrings seem the most popular from so many games. Been enjoying the Atlanta team and now Almiron is out for awhile. Go USA!

  9. beautiful game, September 26, 2017 at 5:25 p.m.

    Pulisic is a post WC 2018 big catch for whoever wants to pay Dortmund the big bucks...his potential today is around $40M.

  10. Goal Goal, September 27, 2017 at 2:31 p.m.

    This kid is special. Let him play. Let him be productive and when he is successful write about it but quit this rhetoric or you are going to JINX him. Play on CP.

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