Clubs which will benefit the most from the international break
With the international break now behind us, club football is set to resume, with the business end of the season looming large. In such a situation, the impact of doing well in an international game can work wonders for a player’s confidence, giving him and his club a real boost. The action from this set of fixtures was no different as some players regained form after a lean spell while others continued their excellent performances in national colours. Here are four clubs which are likely to profit the most.
Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Ashley Young, and Shinji Kagawa were all on target for their respective nations over the international break. Rooney, in particular, has been in riveting form for the Premier League leaders of late, with 10 goals in his last 9 league starts, making up for the drying up of goals from RvP. With a goal each in his games against San Marino and Montenegro, Rooney will be a force to reckon with alongside the Dutchman, who picked up three goals in his two games.
Complementing them will be winger Ashley Young, who put in a good shift against San Marino, rounding it off with a goal, and Shinji Kagawa, who added to his recent hat-trick against Norwich with a consolatory goal for Japan against Jordan. It is also a feather in the cap for the Red Devils that 6 of their players featured for England in their crunch game against Montenegro.
It is no secret that the German national side is mainly filled with players from Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. Thus, when the national team does well, these two clubs are the main benefactors. Dortmund, over this break, had the more success of the two sides, with Mario Gotze scoring one in each of his two games, Marco Reus scoring a brace in one game, and Ilkay Gundogan also grabbing himself a goal for the German side.
The list doesn’t end there as Lukasz Piszczek also grabbed himself a goal in each of his two games, while compatriot Robert Lewandowski grabbed a brace against San Marino. It makes for a whopping total of 9 goals from 4 games for Dortmund players, and is a very promising sign for their Champions League campaign.
Bayern Munich, who have been impeccable throughout the season, saw their players cover themselves in glory on the international stage as well. Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger scored a goal a piece against Kazakhstan, while Franck Ribery scored for France, against Georgia. Mario Mandzukic, who has been the unexpected star of the Bayern show this season, was also on target for Croatia, against Serbia.
Finally, one man who is struggling to hold down a spot in the starting eleven, in spite of being one of the top players in the world, Arjen Robben, made a strong case for himself with some excellent performances and a couple of assists for Netherlands. A good showing overall then, except perhaps for Manuel Neuer, who made a comical error, gifting Kazakhstan their only goal in the 4 – 1 loss to Germany.
Rounding off our list of clubs which did well over the international fixtures is Real Madrid, for whom the defenders really shone through. Interestingly, the defence shone through mainly in an attacking sense, with Sergio Ramos scoring the only goal for Spain against Finland in their 1 – 1 draw. Elsewhere, Fabio Coentrao was required to rescue a point for Portugal against the impressive Israel, with a 90th minute goal which might keep him in the Madrid starting eleven, ahead of Marcelo.
Karim Benzema may be struggling for form, but his fellow striker, Gonzalo Higuain did a fantastic job for Argentina, grabbing a brace in their game against Venezuela, in spite of earning a suspension for their game against Bolivia through cumulative bookings. Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria provided assists in their respective games as well, rounding off a good performance from the Madrid squad.