Roberto Firmino got his name on the scoresheet in impressive fashion as Brazil thrashed Honduras 7-0 on Sunday, in a strong start to the summer for Liverpool.
Of the 19 first-team players on international duty after the end of the club campaign, 11 were in action over the past week, along with young defender Anderson Arroyo.
Liverpool’s No. 1 started and played the full 90 minutes in the final Copa America warmup, with Firmino taking Gabriel Jesus’ place with 35 minutes to play, the score already at 4-0 and with Honduras down to 10 men.
Beautiful chip over the keeper to make it 6! pic.twitter.com/jymLFDvvhR
— Watch Copa América 2019 live on Premier Sports ? (@PremierSportsTV) 9 June 2019
David Neres made it five before Firmino was sent through in the box soon after, chipping the ball brilliantly over goalkeeper Luis Lopez for his 10th international goal.
Both had already played the entire 3-1 win over England in the semi-finals on Thursday, and despite defeat Ryan Babel backed Van Dijk to win the Ballon d’Or after the game.
“Last time [a defender won] the Ballon d’Or was Cannavaro in 2006, so it’s not impossible,” Babel told Sky Sports.
“I think it’s fair that he would be at least on the list. We will see at the end if he wins it, and I would be very happy for him.”
Unfortunately, Xherdan Shaqiri limped off with an injury after the hour mark.
The latter will be hopeful of featuring ahead of Michy Batshuayi against Scotland on Tuesday night, though.
He could come up against Andy Robertson, who scored a cracker from long range in Scotland’s 2-1 victory against Cyprus, playing the full 90 minutes as captain.
Ben Woodburn didn’t make the bench, though, as his difficult season continues.
Caoimhin Kelleher has played the full 90 minutes in each of the Republic of Ireland U21s’ clashes with China (4-1 win), Mexico (0-0 draw) and Bahrain (1-0 win) at the Toulon Tournament so far.
— FreeSports ? (@FreeSports_TV) 9 June 2019
They next take on Mexico again in the semi-finals on June 12, as the goalkeeper eyes his second trophy of the season.
Arroyo saw his and Colombia’s hopes of glory in the U20 World Cup end on Friday as they suffered a 1-0 loss to Ukraine in the quarter-finals in Lodz.
Egypt play pre-Africa Cup of Nations friendlies Tanzania (June 13) and Guinea (June 16), with Keita aiming to be fit for the latter.
Mane’s Senegal warm up against Nigeria on June 16.
Canada play Trinidad & Tobago in a friendly on Monday night, ahead of their Gold Cup opener against Martinique on June 16, with Millar hopeful of featuring.
Poland kick off the U21 Euros against Belgium on the same day, and Grabara is likely to start as No. 1.
Alisson and Firmino are next in action as the Copa America begins for Brazil on Saturday against Bolivia (1.30am kickoff BST).