In the recently concluded opener of the international football through UEFA Nation’s League, only few players have made an impact, owing the congested matches following the halt of the season. With the Euro 2020 delayed for a year, these players are the ones to watch out for. Here are the standout players in the international football opener ahead of Euro 2020
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
The Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has reached another milestone in his career as he scores his 100th goal in the first half of their Nations League game against Sweden, hitting the landmark for Portugal and becoming the second man to achieve this feat in international football. He is now behind Iran’s Ali Daei, who scored 109 in his career, who played for Iran from 1993 to his retirement in 2007.
Ronaldo have already passed the likes of Eusebio and Pauleta to become Portugal’s all-time top goalscorer and has now more than doubled previous record-holder Pauleta, who netted 47 times for the Selecao. The Juventus star has scored 49 of his 101 career goals with Portugal after turning 30. He made his Portugal debut back in 2003 against Kazakhstan, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 1-0 win.
Erling Braut Haaland
Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has been a goal-scoring machine over the last couple of years and climbed his way to be one of the elite strikers of this generation. During Norway’s match against Northern Ireland, Haaland was unstoppable, scoring two stunning strike in a 5-1 win and chipping in with an assist then wrapped up his incredible performance with a Michu celebration.
The 19-year-old has been on an exponential rise since scoring nine goals in a single match for Norway at the U20 World Cup last summer. Haaland scored 28 goals for Austrian side RB Salzburg during the first half of last season, earning himself a move to Borussia Dortmund, where he hit a further 16 in just 18 matches. He scored his first ever senior for Norway during a 2-1 defeat to Austria
Barcelona’s Ansu Fati has scored his debut goal and became the youngest player to score for Spain during his country’s 4-0 win against Ukraine. At the age of 17 years, 311 days, Fati scored Spain’s third goal in the 32nd minute and broke the 95-year record that was set by Juan Errazquin, who scored his first international goal aged 18 years and 344 days.
Fati had also earned a penalty at the start of the game which led to Sergio Ramos giving Spain the lead from the spot in the third minute. Ramos also scored Spain’s second goal, heading home in the 29th minute. Fati became Spain’s youngest player in 84 years since Ángel Zubieta in 1936 when he made his debut in last week 1-1 draw away to Germany.