The UEFA Nations League is officially up and running following the first set of matches during the September international break.
With a competitive edge much more apparent than in international friendlies, there were a host of standout performances across the week, from Marco Asensio and Saul of Spain, to Danel Sinani, who was excellent for Luxembourg in their two wins.
Here we take a look at our UEFA Nations League Team of the Week…
GK: Alphonse Areola (France)
In the absence of Hugo Lloris, Areola was given the opportunity to impress. The PSG stopper certainly did that in the world champions’ 0-0 draw with Germany, making six saves to ensure France of a clean sheet.
CB: Fabian Schar (Switzerland)
A fine all-round performance from Switzerland as they hammered Iceland 6-0, but Newcastle defender Schar was one of those who stood out. Playing his part in a clean sheet, he also assisted both Denis Zakaria and Haris Seferovic.
CB: Stefan Savic (Montenegro)
Savic made 11 clearances, four interceptions and two tackles to help Montenegro record clean sheets against Romania and Lithuania. The Atletico man also netted from the penalty spot in the 2-0 win against the latter.
CB: Nikolay Bodurov (Bulgaria)
Two fine defensive performances from Bodurov, who made an incredible 20 clearances in Bulgaria’s 2-1 win against Slovenia. He backed it up with 12 clearances and six interceptions in a 1-0 success against Norway.
RM: Marco Asensio (Spain)
A simply stunning performance from the Real Madrid man in Spain’s 6-0 thrashing of Croatia. Asensio was involved in five of his side’s six goals, including a fantastic strike from distance to make it 2-0, and three assists.
CM: Saul (Spain)
The Atletico man looks to have an important role to play in Luis Enrique’s new-look Spain side. Saul’s runs into the box from deep helped him find the net in the victories against England and Croatia.
CM: Christian Eriksen (Denmark)
The playmaker was the main threat for Denmark in their win against Wales. Eriksen, who made five key passes, took his opening goal excellently, before adding a second from the penalty spot.
CM: Danel Sinani (Luxembourg)
The 21-year-old was the standout player across the D leagues. Sinani scored once and grabbed two assists in Luxembourg’s 4-0 win against Moldova, before netting a superb goal in a 3-0 success away to San Marino.
LM: Eden Hazard (Belgium)
Hazard is in imperious form of late and was superb in Belgium’s 3-0 win against Iceland. The Chelsea flyer was a constant threat, with four key passes and four dribbles, as well as scoring the opener from the spot.
ST: Rodrigo (Spain)
Another player who looks to have the backing of new Spain boss Enrique. Offering a more dynamic option in comparison to Diego Costa in attack, Rodrigo took his goals against England and Croatia with real confidence.
ST: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia)
Mitrovic really is a man in form. Denied twice by the woodwork in Serbia’s 1-0 win against Lithuania, his luck returned as he scored both in the 2-2 draw with Romania, netting a superb volley for his second of the game.
Neymar admits he suffered because of Brazil’s World Cup disappointment in Russia but feels a return to action has helped him and the team move on.
The South Americans lost to Belgium in the quarter-finals but a return to action saw them follow up a 2-0 win over the United States 2-0 with a 5-0 rout of El Salvador.
Neymar scored in both games and feels things are back on track.
“We think we value it in a positive way. We suffered at the World Cup, I suffered a lot, so being back to defend the national team is a pride,” he told Brazilian journalists.
“It is an honour to be back winning and making goals and playing with my team-mates as best as possible.
“We leave with our heads held high, I congratulate everyone in the group for the two games we played.
“It was good to see this growth for us all,” said the forward.
Neymar also paid tribute to Everton forward Richarlison, who scored twice on his full debut for the senior side against El Salvador.
“He’s a figure. I congratulate him for the match, for everything he has done, to get here,” he added.
“He is a young boy that has a lot to evolve and I am very happy that he not only scored but also did the pigeon dance (a celebration Richarlison has become associated with) too.”
Richarlison scored twice as Brazil ran riot in a 5-0 friendly win over El Salvador.
The Everton forward was handed his first full debut after coming off the bench against the United States at the weekend and added to Neymar’s early spot-kick, with Philippe Coutinho and Marquinhos also scoring.
Brazil took the lead after just four minutes with Roberto Dominguez bringing down Richarlison and Neymar converting the penalty low to the right of Derby Carrillo.
Richarlison then opened his international account in the 16th minute with an excellent curling effort from the edge of the box.
Coutinho scored from similar range on the half-hour after some excellent passing with Neymar on the left and Brazil went into the break 3-0 up.
Richarlison had his brace five minutes into the second-half, hammering a shot inside the near post after the ball had fallen nicely to him 12 yards out.
Marquinhos then headed home a corner in the 90th minute to complete the rout.