How long will we be without this smiling face?!
In perhaps the best news of this whole international break, only one Real Madrid starter (sorry, Raúl Albiol) will come back suffering from the FIFA virus. Unfortunately, that player is Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been carrying nagging injuries for a while now; it remains to be seen whether he'll have to miss any Real Madrid matches (you know, the ones he gets paid to play).
Interestingly, Cristiano was the only Real Madrid player to start for Portugal yesterday (with Ricardo Carvalho ostracized, and Pepe and Fabio Coentrão recovering from injuries)--and despite CR7's incredible goal off a free kick, Portugal was unable to beat Denmark, falling 2-1.
In perhaps even better news, Mesut Özil was absolutely dominant in Germany's 3-1 destruction of Belgium. He ran the attack with lazer-like precision, supplying at least one assist, and scoring an absolute golazo. It's good to see him rounding into form a little, as he's seemed a bit off since the last international break (after the epic Zaragoza match).Real Madrid's polemical-yet-brilliant left back Marcelo lead Brazil to a 1-2 win against Mexico in Mexico (which is, for those of you who know very little about this part of the world, a very big deal). The loss snapped Mexico's 14-game unbeaten streak, even though Dani Alves was ejected for a horrendous challenge on Chicharito.
Spain beat Scotland 3-1, and all the Madrid starters did their Spanish national team thing. Not much to write about here, as Spain pretty much did what everyone expected them to do, and Iker didn't play. Yaaaawn.
Finally, Argentina lost 1-0 to Venezuela, with sub-par performances from just about every single person on the team, including Leo Messi, Gonzalo Higuaín, and Ángel di María. More than anything, I'm disappointed that Higuaín was unable to continue his epic three-goals-per-game streak.
Anything that I missed? Leave it in the comments.
Oh, and here's a fancy-schmancy graphic of the teams that are already qualified to play in the 2012 Eurocup, courtesy of Marca: