11 things we loved this weekend: Mbappe, Messi, Riquelme, Jones…
The international break is loathed by the majority of domestic football fans, but this weekend has seen players from Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United deliver the goods for their country.
As qualifying for Euro 2024 kicked into gear, we saw England beat Ukraine, France demolish the Netherlands and a stunning result in remote Kazakhstan.
Elsewhere, Lionel Messi played his first match for Argentina since winning the World Cup and there was a smattering of lower-league matches to keep English fans entertained.
We’ve rounded up 11 of the moments we loved over the past few days.
READ: Lionel Messi’s World Cup victory speech will give you goosebumps
Starting the new era off right.
New role, same Mbappé 🌟
An absolutely brilliant goal by the new captain of France for his second of the night 👏🇫🇷#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/kvTzPRLL2n
— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) March 24, 2023
What a season he’s having.
🇨🇭 @Arsenal's Granit Xhaka continued his fine season in a dominant Switzerland win
Pulling the strings in midfield and throwing in a long range goal for good measure 👏#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/HmQb5kF3vl
— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) March 25, 2023
Zlatan Ibrahimović became the oldest player ever to appear in Euro qualifier match, aged 41 🌟🇸🇪
“I want to continue playing football, of course if I feel good this is my priority. I feel very good at Milan, if they want me to keep me I’m happy. I’m available”, he said. pic.twitter.com/d7Vcwh0ABX
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 25, 2023
A lovely effort.
🥶🇦🇹 Marcel Sabitzer's free-kick against Azerbaijan! 2 goals + 1 assist total in the game. pic.twitter.com/tyqJoNHcIc
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) March 26, 2023
You weren’t watching Birmingham Under-21s on Friday night?
George Friend scored a bicycle kick for Birmingham under-21s last night 😳
— The Second Tier (@secondtierpod) March 24, 2023
A real heartwarming moment.
Really nice goal by Curtis Jones tonight for England u21s against France 🙌
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) March 25, 2023
Stop that Ivan Morante. pic.twitter.com/oztUMHRpIH
— Stop That Football (@stopthatfooty) March 26, 2023
Kazakhstan 3-2 Denmark
An amazing result in European Championship qualifying.
UNBELIEVABLE SCENES! 😱🤯
Abat Aymbetov completes the comeback for Kazakhstan who've come from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 against Denmark 🇰🇿#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/5lYJya6IYd
— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) March 26, 2023
Juan Roman Riquelme
Class is permanent.
🇦🇷😮💨 Even at 43 years of age Riquelme still has it. Class is permanent! pic.twitter.com/zkfGl8EkXG
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) March 25, 2023
This own goal
This own goal in the J-League 😬 pic.twitter.com/YAlzvDHQSf
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 25, 2023
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