The two biggest football nations to not be at this summer’s World Cup — big enough to be parodied in a Deadpool 2 commercial that ran in the USA, even — Italy and the Netherlands, played out a 1-1 draw on Monday night in a friendly at Juventus Stadium in Torino.
It was the final action for both sets of players until the new season, but for at least one familiar face, it meant that there was just enough time to grab his first international goal. Take it away, Nathan Aké.
The 23-year-old had come on in the 70th minute for his 7th international cap, earning the appropriate reward for his best season yet as a professional after his club-record £20m move from Chelsea to Bournemouth last summer. His goal canceled out Simone Zaza’s opener. Italy also had a man sent off.
It’s a rebuilding year for both of these national teams, which made it a bit surprising to see Marco van Ginkel miss out on a call-up, but certainly congratulations are in order for Aké for his goal and for helping the Cherries stay in the Premier League for another season.
One current Chelsea player did take part as well, getting the start and playing about an hour. That would be Davide Zappacosta, who’s becoming a regular for the Azzurri, though on Monday it just looked like he was ready for the beach.