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Tuesday 15 October
Spain qualify for the finals
A 1-1 draw in Sweden is enough to certify passage for Spain from what was not an easy group, with Norway and Romania also strong contenders. Sergio Busquets sat this game out, which the Swedes looked to have won through Marcus Berg’s goal in the 50th minute, but Valencia’s Rodigo secured a point in Solna right at the very end.
And that concludes the FIFA break… everyone will be back at Barça tomorrow and ready for Eibar on Saturday.
Ansu Fati makes Spain U21 debut
Ansu Fati has played his first football for the Spanish U21 side, becoming the youngest player ever to do so. He came on for the last eleven minutes of the 2-0 victory in Montenegro as a replacement for Marc Cucurella. The former Barça man had scored the second of the two goals (Aitor Buñuel got the first). Isaac Cuenca of Barça B also featured at centre back in a win that makes it three wins out of three for Spain in their qualifying group.
Meanwhile in Solna, the Spanish senior has kicked off its Euro 2020 qualifier against Sweden, but Sergio Busquets starts on the bench.
🙌🏽¡¡ANSU FATI DEBUTA CON LA SUB-21!!🙌🏽— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) October 15, 2019
🔄 CAMBIO EN ESPAÑA:
⬅️ Se retira Marc Cucurella
➡️ Entra Ansu Fati
🇲🇪0-2🇪🇸 | 79´
Vidal scores as Chile beat Guinea
Arturo Vidal captained Chile to a gripping friendly win against Guinea in Alicante. The Africans led at half time through Ibrahima Conte, but Jean Meneses, Esteban Pavez and then our own Vidal from the penalty spot turned things around in the second half before Ibrahima Camara pulled one back for the National Elephants.
Speaking afterwards, King Arturo said “There are no lesser opponents. A lot of lesser known teams make things difficult for teams like us. We have to trust in what we are doing and keep preparing for the World Cup qualifiers to come.”
Gran trabajo equipo!!!👏🏼💪🏽 💪🏽 siempre es importante ganar!!!⚽️⚽️⚽️ 🇨🇱🇨🇱👑👑😉😉 pic.twitter.com/dOC1DPPgpQ— Arturo Vidal (@kingarturo23) October 15, 2019
Vidal and Sergio in action
The final set of fixtures in this international break with expected Barça participation sees Spain face Sweden and Chile take on Guinea. Both Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets should feature for their respective countries.
Seguimos preparándonos para lograr todos nuestros objetivos en el futuro!!!— Arturo Vidal (@kingarturo23) October 14, 2019
Vamos Chile!!!💪🏽💪🏽🇨🇱🇨🇱.👑👑⚽️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/YFyfE0LXgK
Monday 14 October
Greizmann and Lénglet play 90 minutes in Turkey draw
The French team has drawn 1-1 at Stade de France against Turkey. Giroud opened the scoring in the 76th minute, but Kaan Ayhan equalised a few minutes later to silence the home crowd. Griezmann and Lénglet played the full 90 minutes of a draw which gives France 19 points, the same as today's rival, who remain top of group H. Iceland are just below on 15 points.
Semedo starts in Ukraine but Portugal beaten
Nelson Semedo started for Portugal and played the whole 90 minutes, but they were surprisingly beaten 2-1 by Ukraine in Kiev. Now On 11 points, the Portuguese will find it difficult to qualify automatically as the leaders, Ukraine, have 19.
⏱90’ Demos tudo o que tínhamos, mas não conseguimos o resultado que queríamos. Continuamos na luta pela qualificação para o Euro 2020 e não desistimos! #TodosPortugal#UKRPOR | 2-1 | #TodosPortugal #EuropeanQualifiers pic.twitter.com/nu82FkY3cE— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) October 14, 2019
Monday night sees Nelson Semedo in action for Portugal in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Ukraine (kick-off 8.45pm CET), whilst Antoine Griezmann and Clément Lenglet are expected to play against Turkey (kick-off 8.45pm CET). If the French are victorious, they'll end this international break by topping their group.
Sunday 13 October
Wales make Croatia wait
Ivan Rakitic came on for the second half of Croatia’s 1-1 draw in Cardiff. His side needed a win to clinch a place in the finals, but will now have to wait until November, when a draw at home to Slovakia would be enough. Nikola Vlasic put the World Cup finalists into an early lead, but Gareth Bale kept Welsh qualification hopes alive just before the break.
Dutch nearly there
Holland have won 2-1 in Belarus, with both the goals scored by Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum and Frenkie de Jong on for the full 90 minutes. That win means a draw in Belfast in November would be enough to send Ons Oranje through to the finals, and they still have a game against Estonia to come after that. Nice one, Frenkie.
Germany are also virtually qualified after a 3-0 win in Estonia, with Manuel Neuer picked in preference over Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in goal this evening.
Into the dragons' den
Ivan Rakitic and Croatia take on Wales in Cardiff this evening (8.45pm CEST), and three points would put them in a very strong position indeed. But the Welsh, locked in a tight battle for places with Slovakia and Hungary, are looking to seize the opportunity, although they’ll have to do it without the injured Aaron Ramsey.
Holland in Minsk
After surviving a scare against Northern Ireland midweek, Frenkie de Jong and Holland are in Belarus today (kick off 6.00pm CEST), where three points would put them within touching distance of the finals.
Neuer / Ter Stegen: 'A great relationship'
After a 2-2 friendly draw with Argentina, it’s a Euro 2020 qualifier for Germany next, away to Estonia (8.45pm CEST). Manuel Neuer was the man chosen to speak at the pre-game media conference, which may well be a hint that he, rather than our own Ter Stegen, will be playing in that one. But Bayern stopper was keen to underline that the supposed rift between himself and the Barça keeper is mere rumours. “We have a great relationship” he insists.
Nigeria hold Brazil
For the second time this week, Brazil have drawn 1-1 with African opposition in Singapore. This time it was against Nigeria, with Arthur playing 80 minutes before being replaced by Fabinho. Glasgow Rangers striker Joe Aribo put the Super Eagles ahead and Real Madrid’s Casemiro levelled just before the break. The game also saw Neymar Jr limping off with injury after just 12 minutes.
Saturday 12 October
Sergio Busquets' Spain side can only draw with Norway
Sergio played the full 90 minutes for the Spanish national team against Norway. Saúl Ñíguez gave Spain the lead just after the break, before Fabian Ruiz hit the bar on 67 minutes. The miss would come back to haunt them when Joshua King equalised with a 94th minute penalty.
⏱ Final en Oslo. El gol de penalti de Joshua King en el último minuto cierra el partido con empate.— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) October 12, 2019
¡Buscaremos el pase para la #EURO2020 en Suecia!
🇳🇴🆚🇪🇸 | 1-1 | 90+4' |
Vidal has to be content with a draw too
Arturo Vidal started and played the full 90 minutes (subbed in the added time) in the friendly match between Colombia and Chile (0-0). It was a game of little incident with rare forays into the penalty boxes for either side. Todibo's French U20 side beat Sweden 1-0.
🚨 EN VIVO #LaRoja— Selección Chilena (@LaRoja) October 12, 2019
⚽ ¡Pitazo final en Alicante!
Chile y Colombia igualaron sin goles en un reñido partido.
💪 ¡A seguir trabajando para el amistoso con #Guinea!
🇨🇱 0-0 🇨🇴#VamosChile 🇨🇱 pic.twitter.com/ljghdUipgI
Coming up today we have Arturo Vidal and Chile in a friendly with Colombia in Alicante (6.00pm CEST) and a Euro 2020 qualifier featuring Sergio Busquets as Norway host Spain in Oslo (8.45pm CEST).
👌🏻✅ ¡Rondo perfecto para arrancar el entrenamiento en el Ulevaal Stadion de Oslo!— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) 11 de octubre de 2019
⚽️ Es nuestra última sesión preparatoria. Mañana, a las 20.45h. (📺 @La1_tve) nos medimos a Noruega.
¡VAMOS! 💪🏻🇪🇸#UnidosPorUnRETO #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/WM2Cwol8mT
Arturo Vidal has been speaking to the press ahead of the friendly with Colombia in Alicante, where he raised many an eyebrow with his comment that "my dream is to play at the Olympic Games. I hope the U23 team can qualify. It would be the nicest things for any athlete. I’ve already been to the World Cup and the Copa America, this would be really nice.”
Feliz de tenerte de vuelta hermanito @fabianorellanaoficial Histórico!!!👏🏼🇨🇱🇨🇱🇨🇱 a dejar la vida por nuestra selección!!!💪🏽💪🏽🇨🇱🇨🇱👑👑⚽️👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/TsKlsz2iZa— Arturo Vidal (@kingarturo23) 11 de octubre de 2019
Ansu Fati joins the party
The Barça youth star has arrived at the Spain U21 camp to join preparations for the game with Montenegro. Remember, he is arriving as a late replacement for injured fellow Barça man Carles Perez. Speaking about the call-up, Spain senior team manager Robert Moreno said: “All good players are welcome in the national team and Ansu Fati is doing many great things. There is certainly a chance that he could be with the senior team at Euro 2020. We’ll assess that when the time comes.”
Friday 11 October
Three points for Portugal
Portugal end their game vs Luxembourg with a comfortable 3-0 win, in a match which Nelson Semedo played a full part. Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo and Goncalo Guedes score the goals in a game that leaves Portugal four points clear of third placed Serbia in the chase for Euro 2020 places.
France win in Iceland
Clément Lenglet and Antoine Griezmann both played 90 minutes in France's 1-0 win over Iceland, thanks to an Olivier Giroud penalty. The result leaves the world champions within touching distance of the finals, and they can go top of the group by beating Turkey on Monday.
French on the attack
France's first real chance falls to Griezmann!
Three Barça players start
Nelson Semedo starts for Portugal against Luxembourg, whilst Clément Lenglet and Antoine Griezmann both start for France against Iceland
Build-up in Reykjavik
Antoine and Clément off to the stadium!
Ansu Fati summoned by Spain U-21s!
Barça's 16-year-old forward Ansu Fati has been called to play by Spain's Under-21 national team, in place of Barça teammate Carles Pérez, who "is out with muscular discomfort," as reported by the RFEF — the Spanish Football Federation. Thus, Fati could make his debut on Tuesday, when Spain visit Montenegro in UEFA EURO U-21 Qualifying.
French duo in Iceland, Semedo's Portugal at home
Friday sees Clément Lenglet and Antoine Griezmann representing France in their fixture at the Laugardalsvollur (Rekjavik) taking on Iceland from 8:45pm CEST. Also in action will be Portugal, with Nelson Semedo part of the squad for the Euro 2020 qualifying match against Luxemburg in Lisbon (Estadio José Alvalade, Lisbon).
Thursday 10 October
Top of the group
Croatia lead the way in their Euro 2020 qualifying group after the 3-0 defeat of direct rivals Hungary. But there’s still work to be done, with Wales and Slovakia both still in contention for places.
Northern Ireland very nearly secured a shock victory in Rotterdam that would have left the Dutch teetering on the edge of another failure to make the Euro finals. But three late goals saved the day for De Jong and his team.
Dutch leave it late!
Holland needed two late goals to overcome Northern Ireland 3-1. Frenkie De Jong supplied an assist to Memphis Depay for the third goal in the last minute, sealing the win.
Croatia dominate Hungary
A great win for Croatia against Hungary. Ivan Rakitic played for 74 minutes in the 3-0 victory, a match in which Croatia also missed a penalty.
Frenkie and his Dutch team-mates are unable to find a way through the Northern Irish defence, and end the first half goalless.
Cuenca stars for Spain U21s
Spain U21s end their night with a draw, and Barça B's Jorge Cuenca played for 73 minutes of their match against Germany U21s.
Not long to go in Rotterdam
Time for a warm-up for Frenkie and the boys. We see you too Jasper!
Ivan to start
As expected, Ivan Rakitic is named in the starting line-up for Croatia.
Cuenca in the XI
Jorge Cuenca starts for Spain's U21 team in their match against Germany.
France arrive in Iceland
Say cheese, Antoine! The French team arrive in Iceland for the first of their two games.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands...
Frenkie De Jong starts for Holland in their match against Northern Ireland.
Looks like Arturo Vidal is enjoying himself, before getting down to business with the Chile national team!
Con mi Emiliano crack!!!❤️❤️❤️ 🇨🇱🇨🇱 pic.twitter.com/ORPi6DWXW7— Arturo Vidal (@kingarturo23) October 10, 2019
Excitement mounts in Split
Ivan Rakitic arrives at the stadium with his Croatia team-mates.
All square in Singapore
Arthur played 68 minutes in Brazil's draw against Senegal (1-1). Moussa Wague didn't feature.
📸 Imagens da partida da #SeleçãoBrasileira nesta manhã de quinta! Firmino marcou o gol do Brasil na partida.— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) October 10, 2019
🇧🇷 1x1 🇸🇳
Time volta a campo no domingo, dia 13, para enfrentar a Nigéria.
Fotos: @lucasfigfoto / CBF#JogaBola #GigantesPorNatureza pic.twitter.com/FYcgAX4Al8
Lots to look forward to
Up to seven Barça players could play today:
Arthur and Wague: Brazil - Senegal (2.00pm CEST). A friendly to be played at the National Stadium of Singapore.
Todibo: Norway U20 - France U20 (5.00pm CEST). Friendly to be played in Marbella.
Rakitic: Croatia - Hungary (8.45pm CEST). Official qualifying match for the European Championship to be played at Poljud Stadium (Split)
Carles Pérez and Cuenca: Spain U21 - Germany U21 (7.45pm CEST). Friendly at the Nuevo Archangel (Córdoba).
De Jong: Holland - Northern Ireland (8.45pm CEST). Official qualifying match for the European Championship to be played at the Stadion Feyenoord (Rotterdam)
Wednesday 9 October
Ter Stegen plays all 90 versus Argentina
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen played all 90 minutes of Germany’s friendly against Argentina in Dortmund, and the home side looked his fine fettle in the first half, with Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich) opening the scoring and Kai Havertz (Bayern Leverkusen) notching up his first senior international goal.
But Argentina, without the suspended Leo Messi, were a different side after the break. Lucas Alario (Bayern Leverkusen) closed the gap and Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla) equalised.
Final preparations for Marc-André ter Stegen
Our German keeper and his colleagues were given stretching and balancing exercises by the national team coaches, as they prepare to face Argentina.
Carles Pérez joins up with Spain's U21s
It's not just the senior teams that are on international duty during this break, as the U21 sides all have matches too. Barça's Carles Pérez has already joined up with his Spain team-mates in Córdoba, ready for the friendly against Germany.
A taste of home
The Chilean squad was treated to some traditional folk dancing from their home country. Arturo Vidal looks like he was enjoying it!
🇨🇱 ¡Se sintieron como en casa!#LaRoja disfrutó de un colorido show del grupo folclórico “Aries de mi Tierra” de la Asociación Casa Chile Valencia en @LaMangaClub 🇪🇸— Selección Chilena (@LaRoja) October 9, 2019
Más fotos ▶️ https://t.co/MPN8tZlP7O
📸 Carlos Parra/Comunicaciones @ANFPChile pic.twitter.com/pU235duPSS
Another session done
Clément Lenglet and his French international colleagues during another training session, in the lead up to Les Bleus' fixtures against Iceland and Turkey.
Fun in the sun!
Ivan Rakitic enjoyed some down time with his Croatian team-mates after a hard training session.
Chile train in Alicante
Arturo Vidal and Chile are playing two friendlies in Alicante, Spain. It’s almost 11,000km from home, but there are plenty of Chilean nationals to keep them company.
Back in Dortmund
The first international with Barça interest sees Marc Andre Ter Stegen and Germany in a repeat of the 1986, 1990 and 2014 World Cup Finals. Yes, it's Die Mannschaft against Argentina. Leo Messi is not in the South American squad for this one due to suspension. The game kicks off at 8.45pm CEST at Signal Iduna Park, the same place where Ter Stegen posted a fantastic performance against Borussia in the Champions League not so long ago.
Tuesday 8 October
Croatian through and through
Ivan Rakitic spoke to media ahead of Croatia’s games with Hungary and Wales. Asked about his absence from the September fixtures, he said that “for me, the national team is always first, but the situation in my club wasn't right. I needed to come to the national team with a clear head to give my all, and at that time, I wasn't at my best.”
When questioned where his national allegiances truly lie, he insists that "Switzerland gave me everything, but my heart beats for Croatia.”
Red hot Chile player
Few players have more pride in representing their national team than passionate Chilean Arturo Vidal. He's not had far to go this week. He's popped down the road to Alicante, where Chile have friendlies against Colombia and Guinea.
Arthur has gone all the way to Singapore, where the Brazilians face back-to-back friendlies against African sides, first Moussa Wague's Senegal and then Nigeria. The Canarinha have already arrived in Southeast Asia and trained for the first time today.
Nelson Semedo and his buddy Bruno Fernandes of Sporting Lisbon. The UEFA Nations League winners have Luxembourg at home and then a tricky trip to the Ukraine to follow.
Frenkie goes to Holland
Holland missed out on Euro 2016 and Frenkie de Jong won't want anything like that to happen again. Themselves and Germany are favourites to grab the spots in Group C, but Northern Ireland are still in contention. The Dutch will join Norn Iron on 12 ooints with a win in Rotterdam on Thursday.
Todibo, Pérez and Barça B players in action too
In addition to the full internationals, there are U20 and U21 games with a Barça interest to look out for this week too…
Thursday October 10
Norway v France (U20 friendly international featuring Jean Clair Todibo, Marbella 5.00pm CEST)
Spain v Germany (U21 friendly international featuring Carles Pérez & Jorge Cuenca (Barça B), 7.45pm CEST, Cordoba)
Friday October 11
Holland v Portugal (Euro U21 qualifier featuring Ludovit Reis of Barça B, 6.30pm CEST, Doetinchem)
Saturday October 12
Sweden v France (U20 friendly international featuring Jean Clair Todibo, Marbella 5.00pm CEST)
Tuesday 15 October
Montenegro v Spain (Euro U21 qualifier featuring Carles Pérez & Jorge Cuenca (Barça B), 6.45pm CEST, Podgorica)
Norway v Holland (Euro U21 qualifier featuring Ludovit Reis of Barça B, 6.30pm CEST, Drammen)
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