Nine things we loved this weekend: Hazard, Salah, & the miss of the season

Quick Reads

Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham players all caught the eye this week – and we may already have a winner in the miss of the season competition.

Every Monday morning, we share some of the things that made us smile over the weekend. It’s the only way to make it through those first few depressing hours back at work.

You might have thought we wouldn’t have bothered this Monday. You were all thinking international breaks are dull, weren’t you?

Oh, ye of little faith…

Eden Hazard

There aren’t many more entertaining players to watch when they’re in the groove than Eden Hazard.

There probably aren’t many more players who are a nightmare to defend against either.

Those poor Bosnian defenders.

Emre Can

If you’re going to score your first goal for your national team, do it like Emre Can did for Germany. There was probably no need to hit it that hard, really.

Mo Salah

Taking a penalty knowing your country’s hopes of reaching the World Cup for the first time in almost three decades takes some cajones. Doing so in the 95th minute is different gravy.

This has it all. Grown men crying, some of the crowd are on the pitch, they think it’s all over, it is now. Football is great.

Joshua Kimmich

Still only 22, Joshua Kimmich is helping Germany move on from the Philipp Lahm era with consummate ease.

And the Bayern Munich prodigy is closing in on an impressive record.

Non-League Day

Saturday marked Non-League Day in England, and we revisited our tale of how the Whitehawk Ultras helped one man question his Premier League obsession.

It was also cause to celebrate one of the best accounts on Instagram, Non-League Dogs.

Keylor Navas

Costa Rica have qualified for back-to-back World Cups for only the second time in history with a game of qualifying to spare after drawing 1-1 with Honduras.

Kendall Waston was the hero with a 95th-minute equaliser, and Real Madrid stopper Keylor Navas celebrated by shaving head coach Óscar Ramírez’s head.

Gareth Southgate, you’re up.

Harry Winks

Watching England over the international break remained as appealing as drinking wasps, but Harry Wink’s assured debut was at least one bright note.

The 21-year-old completed 94 of 98 passes, including nine out of nine long passes, and has certainly come a long way since this photo with Dele Alli.

The miss of the season

We would usually say something along the lines of ‘spare a thought for this lad who missed a sitter’ when a player makes an absolute mess of an easy finish. We’re all human, after all, and it’s always a bit uncomfortable to watch, isn’t it?

But we don’t have much sympathy for the cockiness of this Dutch Third Division player. Sorry, mate.

Andrea Pirlo

Finally, it’s only right to end on this man, and the news that Andrea Pirlo has decided to hang up his boots when his New York City contract expires in December.

One of the most elegant midfielders of all-time, it’s hard to put into words just how influential Pirlo has been for AC Milan, Juventus and Italy, so let’s leave it to those who know him best…

READ: ‘He speaks with his feet’ – 16 of the best quotes about Andrea Pirlo

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