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International Update: Kroos And Ronaldo Shine

Roundup: Ronaldo and Kroos score in today's friendlies

Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

FIFA's international break is a dreaded thing in these parts. Rational fear from the perspective of Madridistas always sets in, and the omnipresent reality of the FIFA virus nibbling away in relatively meaningless games ahead of El Clasico is terrifying.

Today though, the international round-up proves to be a pleasant day for Real Madrid fans.

In Portugal's home match vs Belgium, the visitors were outplayed, and Cristiano Ronaldo stood out above all. Ronaldo dropped deep to hold up the ball and create, just as much as he stayed high up the pitch to latch onto through balls and provide a presence as a target man. Before scoring a header in the first half, he nearly had two assists - gifts to his teammates who couldn't capitalize.

Amid the onslaught against a disappointing Belgium side who failed to create much, Ronaldo couldn't help himself adding some borderline superfluous step-overs on a couple occasions.

Much to the relief of everyone, Ronaldo was substituted in the 60th minute for Ricardo Quaresma - passing on the captain's armband to Pepe before walking off the pitch.

A subdued Belgium side failed to torture Pepe in any way, and the Portuguese center back had a sound game for Portugal, dealing with crosses whipped in his direction comfortably.

Kroos keeps rolling

Parralel to Portugal's 2-1 victory, there were two other matches being played simultaneously which featured Real's players - Toni Kroos in Germany's match against Italy, and Raphael Varane in France's match against Russia.

Toni Kroos, for the first time in his career, scored in consecutive matches for Germany. His goal today was incisive - a surgically-placed one-time curler.

It was very similar to his goal against Rayo Vallecano last year.

Kroos' numbers with the national team in comparison with his numbers with Real Madrid are telling. He has scored four goals in 18 matches with Germany; while netting three goals in 88 matches with Real. He does have a license to roam forward under Löw.

Given that I'm just a mortal being, I was only able to watch Portugal's triumph - staying in touch with the other two friendlies through the Twitter-verse. I can't speak for how Varane played against Russia, but the good news is that he was substituted in the 48th minute - salvaged for a date in the Camp Nou.

At the time this article is published, Colombia - featuring a very active James Rodriguez - is leading Ecuador in a crucial World Cup qualifier. We'll keep you posted on that match.

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