After ten days of enthraling international football, we turn our focus back to club football once again. Most of the sides around the world were involved in qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is now just over a year away.
Big guns like England, France and Italy saw mixed results, whereas Argentina, Portugal, Brazil and Germany, among others, came away unscathed. There were a lot of fine individual performances during this period as well.
On that note, here is a look at seven players who came up big for their teams with a hat-trick during the international break:
#7 Adam Buksa (Poland) vs San Marino
Poland's big victories normally involve their prolific striker Robert Lewandowski making a three or four-goal salvo. But in their recent 7-1 demolition of San Marino, new boy Adam Buksa garnered headlines for a hat-trick.
Having scored on his international debut a few days earlier against Albania, the New England Revolution striker netted thrice away to La Serenissima in only his second Poland appearance.
Buksa came off the bench in the second half and added some gloss to the scoreline, which was already 4-1 in Poland's favour. He headed in two superb efforts before wrapping things up with a simple tap-in.
Considering the start to his international career, the 25-year-old might be the heir apparent to Robert Lewandowski'.
#6 Islam Slimani (Algeria) vs Djibouti
Remember when Leicester City made a spate of flop signings as defending Premier League champions in the summer of 2016. One of them was an Algerian striker from Sporting CP. His name is Islam Slimani, but regardless of his club form, he has been scoring a glut of goals for the Desert Foxes.
Last week, in a World Cup qualifier against minnows Djibouti, the striker netted four times in an 8-0 shellacking. That was the second time he registered a four-goal salvo in national colours.
Slimani was ruthless on the day, finishing his chances with the precision of a surgical knife. He also scored a good penalty as he led the way for one of Algeria's biggest-ever victories.
#5 Eran Zahavi (Israel) vs Faroe Islands
Israel haven't qualified for the FIFA World Cup since 1970, the only time they have participated in the competition.
However, the side has been putting up a strong fight in Group F. There's a distinct possibility the Chosen team could end their international drought with only four qualifying games remaining.
That would've been possible without the blistering exploits of Eran Zahavi, the prolific PSV Eindhoven star. He has been relentless for his side in the current campaign, scoring six goals.
Last week, he bagged a hat-trick against the Faroe Islands, his fourth in national colours, taking the minnows to the cleaners with a fine individual performance.
Arguably the best Israeli player in modern history, Zahavi, 34, is their all-time top-scorer with 31 goals from 66 games.