In these uncertain times, the Union Saint-Gilloise has brought back to the fore the outdated concept of “Union is strength”. Thanks to a well-established, enthusiastic and solid collective, the “yellow and blue” give a lesson in efficiency to their opponents but above all bring freshness and joy to our competition. Suddenly, seeing them occupy the head of almost all the rankings of our Pro League – Fall champion, best offense, best defense, best home and away team, etc … – is no accident.
But the strength of a group is also nourished by the individual quality of its performers. Certainly, Felice Mazzù, as a perfect leader of men, reminds each interview that “the group, the team must remain the prerogative, and that without this spirit, we are not going anywhere” but it is difficult to ignore the performance of any particular player against the KV Ostende, that of Deniz Undav.
Thanks to his quadruple scored on the coast, the German center-forward is now the top scorer in the Pro League (14 goals in 15 matches) and continues to surprise and string together excellent performances week after week. “He’s a complete striker who excels in several areas, details the consultant Alexandre Teklak, “back to goal, Undav knows how to protect a ball like no one else, you can’t move it. In addition, he knows how to make others play. “
Comments confirmed by his teammate Guillaume Francois who delivers this anecdote, “in training, we like to challenge ourselves with him. The other day he was surrounded by 5 players and he didn’t even lose the ball. We wonder how he does it! “
Even if he doesn’t really have the physique of the role (he measures 1m77), Undav plays with his back to the goal like a giant. And in front of the goal, he is either extremely generous, or surgical as evidenced by his statistics: 14 goals, 9 assists in Pro League.
Goalscorer or assists 23 times in 15 league matches, Deniz Undav is the most decisive striker in the world!
Figures that make Saint-Gillois the most prolific striker in the world. He has been decisive 23 times in 15 league games. In the professional 1st division leagues, no one does better! Ricardo Gomes, the attacker of the Partizan Belgrade (22) and Julian Alvarez from River Plate (21) complete the podium.
If we push the calculation on the calendar year at the level of the European championships, the figures are even more eloquent. The “bomber” of Saint-Gilles scored 25 goals in 28 matches (for 12 assists) in 2021. This propels him into the “big leagues” since he is doing better than Ciro Immobile, Jonathan David, André Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo (21 goals each) or Kylian Mbappé (22 goals). The ogre Robert Lewandowski (38) remains untouchable at the top of this ranking. Despite his numbers, you have to have the honesty to admit that 11 of his goals were scored in D1B but the essential is elsewhere for a simple and endearing boy, “Denis is someone who does not take the lead. He trains seriously but without doing too much. He is an altruistic and smiling person who has succeeded in everything for the moment”, recalls Guillaume François.
According to relatives, Deniz Undav lives his new notoriety and this status of “serial scorer” in a very serene way. The German knows where he comes from and all the sacrifices he had to make to hatch at 25 years old. He’s not the high-roller or the big-headed type.
Deemed too short physically (too small) and dismissed by Werder Bremen at 17, Denis retreated to jump better. After this failure, he chose to sign a contract with Havelse in 4th German division before climbing the ranks. At the time, he had to combine football with a full-time job in a factory, as he recently told a German media …
“I got up at 4 am to go to work because I only earned 150 euros from football.
I worked at the factory where I started at 4 a.m. I would follow up with training and then I would come home around 8 p.m., sometimes even later. I had to make some money, eh! I had a contract of 150 euros. I couldn’t live on football alone. “
A beautiful lesson in life and humility for someone who keeps his feet on the ground even if he touches the peaks.