Three big winners and losers of the international break

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ELCHE, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 11: Sergio Ramos of Spain celebrates after scoring his team’s fifth goal during the UEFA Nations League A Group four match between Spain and Croatia at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on September 11, 2018 in Elche, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Some of the nations in need of a boost dazzled during the international break while other former powerhouses struggled.

Winner: Spain

Luis Enrique got the perfect start as the new manager of Spain by beating two World Cup semi-finalists in the UEFA Nations League. After defeating England 2-1 at Wembley, La Roja handed World Cup silver medalists Croatia their first 6-0 loss in team history.

Real Madrid stars Marco Asensio, Sergio Ramos, and Isco all got on the scoresheet and put Spain in pole position for the Nations League semifinals with six points after two matches. Enrique’s squad selection was far superior to Lopetugui’s and has the best Spanish players in this new era on the national team. Spain will try to stay perfect when they host England on October 15th in Seville.

Loser: Iceland

The Vikings are plummeting. After a bad World Cup campaign in Russia, we expected Iceland to be challenged once again in the Nations League. This past break, Iceland lost to Switzerland 6-0 and 3-0 to Belgium to start the UNL with zero points and -9 on goal difference.

This is the first time we have seen this squad face a stretch of really good teams in competitive matches and Iceland is going back to their old ways of losing by big scorelines. The squad is likely facing relegation to League B and will need a favorable qualification group for Euro 2020 if they want any hope of returning.

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