We're less than a week away from the start of Copa America Centenario and less than two weeks away from the start of Euro 2016. Things will soon get real. For now, all teams are still in the midst of preparations with training camps and warm-up matches.
Unfortunately Chelsea don't have any German or Slovak players (Schürrle, Stoch no longer count; Rüdiger's only linked; Hamšík's just a dream), so I can't really talk too much about the famous 3-1 win for Slovakia (including Hamšík's fantabulous goal and Ter Stegen's howler). But what a win for Slovakia! Some real hope of doing well at the tournament, having been drawn into England's group alongside Russia and Wales.
Other teams hoping to do well, or at least better than this segue, include Italy and Spain. There are no Chelsea players on the Azzurri (at least not yet), but they're worth paying attention just for Antonio Conte. Granted, their friendly against Scotland and their ghastly pink shirts, played in Malta, of all places, was rather poor, but Italy looked like they could keep a clean sheet until the end of time and space and the universe. Given a makeshift midfield full of utility players (Giaccherini wasted two glorious opportunities himself) and a front-line featuring a couple underwhelming options in Eder and Pellè, the 1-0 win was almost as expected as it was underwhelming.
Far more fiery was Spain's clash with Bosnia and Herzegovina, a game that featured a total of four Chelsea players. Asmir Begovic kept goal for Bosnia but was beaten three times, including once in added-on time by Pedro who was a half-time substitute.
Tempers boiled over just before Pedro's introduction, at the very end of the first half, with Emir Spahic seeing red for whatever he was trying to do to Cesar Azpilicueta's face and then, for good measure, slapping captain Cesc Fabregas, too. Craziness from veteran defender.
Azpilicueta started as a left back, thus his involvement there, and ended up playing the full match. Fàbregas was withdrawn at the hour mark; he did get an official assist on Spain's second goal, though that had more to do with a bit of genius from Nolito.
Spain's 3-1 win was matched by Colombia later, with Juan Cuadrado notching early in the second half. Plenty of questions remain about his future, and as things stand, those aren't likely to be answered until after the continental tournaments.
There was time enough in the day for Brazil's friendly win over Panama, Willian playing the first hour of the 2-0 win. Panama aren't exactly opponents to strike fear into Brazil's hearts, but after a few disappointing results, Dunga certainly can use a win.
Well done, all.