🏆 International Awards: Perfect hat-tricks, brotherly love, teenage kicks | OneFootball
🏆 International Awards: Perfect hat-tricks, brotherly love, teenage kicks
It was an intriguing weekend of international football with numerous nations sealing their spots at the 2022 World Cup.
And now it’s time to hand out some awards.
The Perfect Hat-Trick Award
Harry Kane still has just one Premier League goal to his name this season but he brushed his cares aside when he netted a hat-trick in England’s rout of Albania on Friday night.
What’s more, it was what some people would call a perfect hat-trick – left foot, right foot, header.
The Perfect 10 Award
Anything Kane can do, Kylian Mbappé can do better.
The Frenchman was in inspired form as Les Bleus battered Kazakhstan 8-0 on Saturday night, and his four goals earned him the extremely rare feat of a 10/10 in L’Equipe’s player ratings.
The Brace Yourself Award
Robert Lewandowski, meanwhile, only managed two goals for Poland this weekend. Slacker.
But that brace took his tally to 60 goals for club and country in 2021 alone.
The last player to do that was Cristiano Ronaldo in 2014, and he won the Ballon d’Or that year.
The Immovable Object Award
Their 1-0 win over Uruguay on Friday meant Argentina extended their remarkable unbeaten run.
Can Brazil bring that run to an end on Wednesday?
The Man In The Mirror Award
Christian Pulisic made an instant impact when he came off the bench to score his 17th senior international goal in the United States’ victory over Mexico on Friday, and he celebrated by revealing an interesting message on his t-shirt.
Here’s the Chelsea forward explaining what the celebration meant …
The Here We Go Again Award
It was all going so well for the Netherlands on Saturday night. They were 2-0 up and cruising, and just minutes away from securing their trip to Qatar.
But then two late Montenegro goals meant the Dutch had to settle for a draw, and Frenkie de Jong was particularly unhappy.
They’re not really going to miss out on another World Cup, are they?
The Lucky Charm Award
Just like team-mate Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey’s club career isn’t going as well as he’d like at the moment, but when he pulls on a Wales shirt it’s a different story.
That result leaves Wales in a play-off spot and with a real chance of qualifying for their first World Cup since 1958. What a story that would be.
The Chip Off The Old Block Award
Having one of your children represent their country must be a proud feeling. Having two of them do it must be mind-blowing.
That’s what Iceland legend Eiður Guðjohnsen experienced on Sunday, when his 19-year-old son Andri came off the bench to replace his 23-year-old son Sveinn Aron.
Worth remembering that Eiður himself once famously came on as a substitute to replace his own father Arnór for the national team.
What an incredible family.
The Teenage Dream Award
Playing professional football at the age of 15 is crazy enough, but playing senior international football at that age is absolutely ridiculous.
On Sunday, Romania handed a first international cap to 15-year-old wonderkid Enes Sali when he came off the bench against Liechtenstein.
In September Sali became the youngest player to score in the Romanian top flight when he netted for Farul Constanta, who are coached by Romanian legend Gheorghe Hagi.
And now he is the youngest ever European player to appear in a competitive international fixture, taking Martin Ødegaard’s record, who also made his senior debut for Norway aged 15.
The If It Ain’t Broke Award
Shane Duffy’s goal against Luxembourg on Sunday means he now has three in his last six games for Ireland.
And all of his international goals were scored with his noggin.
Can’t say fairer than that.
The Happy Ending Award
A year ago, Aleksandar Mitrovic missed the decisive spot-kick in a penalty shoot-out against Scotland that meant Serbia failed to qualify for Euro 2020.
But the Fulham striker is now in brilliant form for club and country, and on Sunday he netted a dramatic late winner against Portugal to book Serbia’s spot at next year’s World Cup.
That’s some redemption arc.
The Clutch Player Award
Say what you like about Alvaro Morata, but you can’t deny he has a penchant for scoring important goals for Spain.
In fact his last three goals for La Roja were a 100th-minute winner against Croatia, an equaliser against Italy in the 80th minute, and an 86th minute winner against Sweden on Sunday night.
That last goal booked Spain’s place at Qatar 2022. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.