The international break saw the majority of participating Manchester United players seal qualification to the European Championships.
Marouane Fellaini and Belgium qualified from Group B with 23 points and a huge +19 goal difference. They topped the group ahead of Gareth Bale’s Wales and Bosnia-Herzegovina, lead by former AS Roma duo Edin Džeko and Miralem Pjanić. Currently loaned out from United, Adnan Januzaj will also be looking to get into the Belgium Euros squad.
Spain also qualified as top of their groups, with 9 wins and a loss, with the help of Juan Mata and David De Gea. España topped hosts of the last Euros, Ukraine, and Slovakia, captained by Napoli’s mighty midfielder – Marek Hamšík. Ander Herrera is hoping to impress, and be called up to the national team, before the competition starts next summer.
Germany were also group winners. Bastian Schweinsteiger and “Göziller” (Mario Götze, Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller) helped die Deutschen edge out Robert Lewandowski and Poland by a point. Scotland and Gibraltar missed out in the group but the Republic of Ireland managed to get into the playoffs.
Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, Luke Shaw and Wayne Rooney all contributed to making England the only perfect team in qualification. The Three Lions scored 31 goals and only conceded 3 times.
Northern Ireland qualified for their first major competition since 1986. Manchester United’s Paddy McNair started in the match which sealed qualification for the Irish. But, he sustained a ruptured liver in their match up against Finland, and is still in Helsinki recovering.
The final member of Manchester United’s successful qualifiers is Italian right back Matteo Darmian. The Italians topped Group H undefeated, and only sustained 3 draws.
During the qualifying breaks, France have been playing friendly matches as they qualify to the 2016 Euros automatically, by virtue of hosting the tournament. Since signing for Manchester United, 19 year old Anthony Martial has made his international debut, his first international start, and has 2 international assists. If he keeps up his United performances there’s no reason why he won’t feature in the French Euros squad.
Unfortunately for the Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal, the Netherlands failed to qualify. They were trumped by the Czech Republic, Iceland and Turkey. This means that Memphis Depay and Daley Blind will get the summer off.
Earlier today, all Manchester United players fit to play turned up to training. No doubt that van Gaal will already be drilling into the lads exactly what he wants to be done on Saturday, to recover from the Arsenal demolition sustained a fortnight ago.