Jonas Hofmann conducting sweet Borussia Mönchengladbach symphony
Lighting up Friday night's Battle of the Borussias with an elegant, game-winning display, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Germany midfielder Jonas Hofmann is hitting all the right notes for club and country.
It's no coincidence that the two Bundesliga matches Borussia Mönchengladbach's Hofmann has not featured in this campaign ended in defeat for the Fohlen. Across the last 24 months, the 30-year-old has been imperious for club and country, and he again played a crucial role as his side beat Borussia Dortmund 4-2 on Friday.
Hofmann needed less than four minutes to make his mark against his former club on Matchday 15, firing Lars Stindl's through ball beyond Gregor Köbel with aplomb. He then turned provider for Gladbach's second and fourth strikes, showing off his creativity.
First, he whipped in a pinpoint free-kick, which Remy Bensabaini headed home, before holding the ball up well and waiting for the perfect moment to play in Kouadio Kone as the Frenchman sealed the three points. It was another dominant display from a player who continues to go from strength to strength.
Watch: Hofmann hits the heights against BVB
This has already been a season of ups and downs for Gladbach, but head coach Daniel Farke has been able to rely on Hofmann's form. Only Marcus Thuram has scored more Bundesliga goals for the club this season than the right-sided man's five, while he sits third on the team's assists chart with four.
A shoulder injury threatened to scupper his World Cup chances – Hofmann initially thought he had broken a bone during Gladbach's 2-1 DFB Cup defeat by Darmstadt - but he has hit the ground running since returning from that setback and has allayed any fears of inadequate fitness.
His consistency made him a shoo-in for Hansi Flick's squad and, after featuring in all but two of the Mannschaft's matches since the start of the 2021/22 campaign, he could well play a starring role at the World Cup as Germany look to repeat their 2014 triumph.
Hofmann has never been gifted with electric pace, but what he lacks in speed, he more than makes up for with a brilliant footballing mind and excellent vision.
Following Gladbach's win against Stuttgart last weekend, which marked Hofmann's return to the starting XI, Farke was clear about the 16-time international's importance. "It's no coincidence that Jonas comes back and we win", he said. "He is a player who can make the difference, and he brings so much quality to the team."
It's been a long road for Hofmann, but he is now one of the elder statesmen in Farke's squad and one of the top players in the Bundesliga. What's more, with Flick certain to have taken in Friday's Dortmund game, the Germany coach will know Gladbach's number 23 will be a hard man to overlook in the coming weeks.
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