THE BLOG

The Champions League Stars

15/09/2014 15:21 BST | Updated 12/11/2014 10:59 GMT

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The first international break of the season is always the hardest to take - we've just had our first taster of club football only to be faced with a 2 week break. There was however some exquisite talent on show and some highly entertaining games. This week I take a look at which of this years Champions League stars were at centre stage during the international games.

Gareth Bale

Wales lined up to play Andorra earlier this week on Andorra's newly lain 3G pitch. You could sense that each member of the Welsh players club managers were watching on in dreaded anticipation of the inevitable injuries caused by "by far the worst pitch" Gareth Bale has ever played on.

Despite the pitch concerns Wales, or rather Gareth Bale, got the job done. Bale scored two crucial goals - a header and a free kick. This will help to build the growing confidence for this Wales side at the start of their qualifying campaign. Bale came away unscathed, which unfortunately couldn't be said for Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey who twisted his ankle on the plastic pitch.

Spain

There were a plethora of stars to help Spain bounce back from their recent defeat to France and put off the fear that things are going from bad to worse. They defeated Macedonia 5-1 in what was a very convincing performance.

Manchester City's David Silva took a leading role, winning a penalty, scoring and setting up Barcelona's Pedro. Sergio Busquets also found the net with his first goal for the Spanish national team.

Neymar

Neymar captained Brazil to two straight 1-0 victories over South American oppositions - much needed victories following their pained World Cup campaign. PSG's David Luiz was subbed off in the 1st friendly and played no part in the 2nd.

Chelsea's Willian scored the goal to beat Ecuador... Neymar, on the other hand, had a contender for miss of the season in the same game - hitting the bar from 3 yards out with an open goal beckoning.

Danny Welbeck

Arsenal's new boy Danny Welbeck helped inspire more faith in his abilities as a centre forward scoring 2 goals as England took 3 points in a tricky group opener away to Switzerland.

Thomas Muller

Bayern Munich's Muller looked as sharp as ever, carrying his World Cup form into the new season and pulling a slightly rusty looking Germany through against a robust Scotland side. Muller's two goals secured the team their 3 points.

Shock results

The Netherlands, with a relatively limited array of Champions League talent on show, went down 2-1 to the Czech Republic despite having Galatasaray's Wesley Sneijder and Porto's Bruno Martins Indi on show.

Real Madrid stars and Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo we're desperate to turn around Portugal's fortunes after their dismal World Cup. However they made an atrocious start losing 1-0 at home to Albania. Albania did look impressive though, with FC Basel's Taulant Xhaka helping the Albanians keep a clean sheet.

The Champions League officially begins on Tuesday.

Follow Layla @Laylaloves