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International Break Update: Portugal, France, and Germany

A quick recap on how our players did with their respective countries

Ian Walton/Getty Images

Players involved

Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Coentrao (loaned out) Karim Benzema, Raphael Varane, and Toni Kroos.


Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo turned in a decent performance for Portugal as they ran out 1-0 winners due to a brilliant Joao Moutinho goal. The Real Madrid man started as the center forward on the team sheet and was given license to roam wherever he pleased. However, he not only took on the attacking duties of a central striker but assumed his defensive duties as he pressed hard in the first half. This was best seen in his excellent sliding tackle to prevent a Denmark counter late in the first half. In attack Ronaldo made good runs into the box and helped with build-up play but Portugal's final ball was severely lacking. Thus Ronaldo only managed shots on goal that he created himself. In the first half he fired from range with his left boot comfortably into the hands of the keeper. In the second half he managed to trouble the goalkeeper with a shot after dancing onto his right foot and almost made it 2-0 in the dying moments of the game with a good step-over and a left-footed strike on goal. All-in-all not a brilliant game from Ronaldo, but he was one of Portugal's brighter sparks in attack and looked to be spread thin with the responsibility he had in helping out in every aspect of Portugal's attacking play.

Fabio Coentrao

The Portugal fullback on loan from Madrid had a solid game. He made little to no mistakes and got forward well especially in the first half. His movement and dribbling was generally good and his combinations with Ronaldo were a glimpse into the past. However, his final ball was a little off the whole match and this detracts from an otherwise solid performance.


Karim Benzema

Benzema's first half was typified by good link-up play and he capped off a good first half performance with an assist for Griezmann. He really became dangerous in the second half as he loosed off shot after shot at goal. In the 53rd minute he was denied a spectacular overhead kick and was denied 5 minutes later from point blank range. But the French forward was not to be denied, as he rose highest to head home Griezmann's corner in the 77th. Only two minutes later Benzema managed to burst through into the box to receive Martial's pass and finish one-on-one past Kasparov. Unfortunately his game ended only minutes later as he came off with a knock. The curse strikes again!

Raphael Varane

Overall it was a pretty quiet night for Raphael Varane as he wasn't severely tested by Armenia's forwards. The first half did present danger however as he faced several quick counters. But the young defender calmly blocked off any route to goal and became a brick wall in the second half. A solid performance by Varane that will only serve to build his reputation even further.


Toni Kroos

Kroos played all 90 minutes in Germany's surprising 1-0 loss to Ireland and arguably put in a man of the match showing alongside midfield partner Ilkay Gundogan. He led both sides with 115 passes, completing his attempts at a 96.5 percent rate while leading Germany in chances created. He was farily solid on defense, nothing amazing, though he didn't have too many responsibilities in that aspect aside from a denying Jonathan Walters a clear chance in the first half. He did take a knock late but was able to shake it off and continue playing. Overall, not as much impact on the game as someone of his quality can exert, but he was far from the worst player on the pitch.

For your information, here is a schedule of all international matches that our players will participate in:

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