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Alonso makes Spain debut; Caballero concedes a lot for Argentina; Miazga keeps clean sheet for USA

Remaining internationals round-up

Paraguay v United States Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Marcos Alonso was undoubtedly waiting for this moment since playing his first (and, as it turned out, only) game for Real Madrid back in 2010. No, that moment was not his transfer to Bolton or Sunderland or Fiorentina or even Chelsea. It’s a moment that every professional (or even non-professional, for that matter) football player dreams of. In the 79th minute of Spain’s friendly against Argentina on Tuesday, the fourth referee’s board flashed his number and finally, at age 27, Marcos Alonso made his Spain debut.

With his debut, Alonso also entered a rather unique group of players in becoming a third generation international footballer as he followed in his father’s (of Barcelona fame) and grandfather’s (of Real Madrid fame) footsteps. Now that’s some football heritage.

Congrats, Marcos!

A few minutes before Alonso’s entrance, César Azpilicueta entered the pitch as well, which is worth noting just because he’s often criminally overlooked by his national team despite his outstanding play in the Premier League, and because it was the first time he’s ever played center back for La Furia Roja. He replaced Gerard Piqué in the 72nd minute.

By that time, Spain were already up 4-1 against Argentina, with Diego Costa opening the scoring in the 12th minute. Isco’s hat-trick completed the 6-1 rout in the 74th minute. Picking the ball out of the Argentina net many, many times was Willy Caballero, who had replaced the injured Sergio Romero when it was still just 1-0. That’s not to say the goals were his fault, though one did start with his poor goal kick; Spain were very very good and Argentina were very very bad.

One Chelsea player (well, sort of) who did not concede many on Tuesday was Matt Miazga. The 22-year-old loanee starring once again for Vitesse in Holland collected his 5th cap as part of a youthful and experimental USA side who beat Paraguay 1-0 late yesterday in Cary, NC, which is a place you’ll have to search for in the atlas on Google Maps. (It’s a suburb of Raleigh, but everyone’s being oddly specific about it, so Cary it is.)

Here’s your Miazga highlight. He sure seems comfortable on the ball. Defensive partner and Spurs loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers was probably very impressed, too, and went home re-evaluating the life choices that lead him to becoming a Hotspur.

Elsewhere, N’Golo Kanté and Olivier Giroud both participated in France’s 3-1 win over Russia. Kanté played most of the game, which is annoying, while Giroud got a little over a quarter hour off the bench, which isn’t.

And last but not certainly not least, Victor Moses and Ola Aina were on the losing end of a friendly against Branislav Ivanović’s Serbia. (Bane’s fellow Chelsea legend Mikel had to miss out unfortunately.) Moses played the first half while Aina got a few minutes at the very end.

And thus ends the final international break of the league season. Onwards to Sunday!

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