AFTER a massive few days of international action, there have been some major revelations as sides ramp up their preparation for the World Cup.
Our Socceroos were perhaps the biggest losers as they were thrashed by Norway in new manager Bert van Marwijk’s first game in charge.
While their World Cup opponents France were also hit hard, suffering a shock 3-2 loss at the hands of Colombia in Paris.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom however, as an anticipated meeting between two of the world’s most in-form players Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah dealt up late drama and individual brilliance.
Here are the winners and losers from the international break thus far
When isn’t he a winner?
The Portuguese superstar produced a stunning late show to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Egypt. Two goals in three minutes to take his international tally to 81 and surge into third place on the all-time standings for international goals scored.
In his 900th career appearance, he netted for an incredible 647th time, and has now scored 19 times in his last nine games for club and country.
While a 1-0 result doesn’t imply a particularly big win, for the Three Lions, their victory over the Netherlands brought a range of positives.
The Englishmen found the net for the first time in over 300 minutes with Jesse Lingard’s strike, and also extended their record to 537 minutes without conceding a goal. An impressive record.
A man many expect to be one of the World Cup’s biggest stars continued an impressive run of form to open the scoring against Ronaldo’s Portugal.
He may have lost the personal duel with CR7, but his classy opener, well taken from outside the box, had his side in the lead when he left the pitch. An absolute star for Liverpool, and proved once again he can pull out the same heroics surrounded by a lesser quality of player at international level.
Socceroos World Cup opponents Peru registered their first victory over a European opponent in 19 years yesterday against Croatia.
Taking on a side filled with talent including Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, Juventus’ Mario Mandzukic and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, the South Americans showed their class to earn a 2-0 victory.
A big step in their World Cup preparation.
Not a particularly big loss for the Leicester striker, but nevertheless a hilarious one.
The England man played 22 minutes against the Netherlands… not managing a single touch after replacing Marcus Rashford.
Even 89th minute change Eric Dier got himself a touch on the ball!
Socceroos and Bert van Marwijk
The obvious losers after being demolished 4-1 by Norway to kick off the Bert van Marwijk era.
Looked vulnerable in defence, off the pace in midfield and isolated up front in one of their worst performances in recent memory. Van Marwijk only had four days in camp with his side prior to the match, and openly stated he didn’t want to play the friendly, but a shocking performance has earned him wide reaching criticism.
A clear loser with the clock ticking to Russia.
Touted by some as one of the favourites heading into Russia, their remarkable depth and quality is scary. However, a shock loss to Colombia has put question marks over the credentials of Didier Deschamps’ side.
After taking a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud and Thomas Lemar, Les Bleus surrendered their lead and the match – with their own manager labelling them ‘cocky’ after the game.
While Colombia did beat France, the opening goal of the match was one that Arsenal keeper David Ospina would not have wanted to see again.
Still favourite to be the starting stopper for his nation in Russia, a shocking error to hand Giroud the opener would not have enhanced his standing.
After embarrassingly missing out on a spot at the World Cup, the Italians would have been eager to bounce back when they took on an Argentina side missing Lionel Messi.
However, it didn’t go to plan for Luigi Di Biagio’s side, as they slumped to a 2-0 loss at the Etihad Stadium.
Not the best way to bounce back from one of the biggest calamities in the nation’s footballing history.