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Romero world class but Richarlison struggles: How Tottenham’s stars fared over the international break

How Ange Postecoglou’s men got on away from north London

A host of Tottenham players were involved in the first round of international fixtures this week, with the Lilywhites having lost a massive 14 players off to play for their countries over the break.

Swedish star Dejan Kulusevski put in a man-of-the-match performance as his country thrashed Estonia by a massive 5-0 scoreline. The Tottenham man grabbed a goal and an assist from the right flank in the hammering.

But fellow forward Richarlison had a tough day for Brazil despite his side racing to a 5-1 win over Bolivia to start their World Cup 2026 qualifying campaign with three points. The Spurs striker was guilty of missing two glorious chances to find the back of the net and looked visibly upset

James Maddison also struggled for England, picking up a yellow card in their 1-1 draw with Ukraine and not really having any impact on the game.

There was better news for fellow impressive midfielder Yves Bissouma though. With Mali already qualified, he was among the substitutes to begin with but came on to grab an assist as his country hammered South Sudan 4-0.

Ivan Perisic enjoyed a fantastic outing for Croatia as they thrashed Latvia 5-0 to remain unbeaten in their EURO2024 qualifying campaign. The Spurs man grabbed two assists in the rout.

His performance led to praise from match-winner Lionel Messi too. Messi, who has taken his stunning Inter Miami form back onto the international stage, believes the Spurs star is now the best in his position across world football:

“For me, he is the best defender in the world right now. Amazing performance tonight, man of the match,” he told Telemundo.

Elsewhere, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg opened the scoring for Denmark to help them on their way to a 4-0 thrashing of San Marino, though the Spurs man was taken off on the hour mark in preparation for their second game.

Meanwhile, three Tottenham stars went head-to-head as Heung Min Son’s South Korea faced off against new signing Brennan Johnson, Ben Davies and Wales.

In a game that finished 0-0, Son had little to do while Johnson was taken off at halftime. Davies helped keep South Korea quiet playing in his familiar left-sided centre-back role.

It was better news for another summer signing though, with Manor Solomon playing 90 minutes as Israel held on for a 1-1 draw with Romania.

However, Guglielmo Vicario was an unused substitute for Italy as they drew 1-1 with North Macedonia, with the 26-year-old still waiting for his Azzurri debut.

Also not used was Dutch centre-back Micky Van de Ven, who like Vicario is still waiting for his senior debut for his national side.


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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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