Winners & losers from the September international break

Barcelona pair Frenkie de Jong & Memphis Depay both suffered injuries with Netherlands
Barcelona pair Frenkie de Jong & Memphis Depay both suffered injuries with Netherlands / BSR Agency/GettyImages

The September international break saw many teams play their last matches before November's FIFA World Cup, with managers across the globe still figuring out their best sides and assessing who to pick in their squads for the tournament.

The Nations League was also in the spotlight, with Europe's best international sides going head-to-head for a place in the final four of the competition.

With so many captivating storylines to follow, who were the winners and losers of this international break? Let's take a closer look at who shone on the international stage - as well as who had two weeks to forget...

1. Winner: Liverpool

Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson avoided injury over the international break / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Much has been made of Liverpool's injury crisis this season, with Jurgen Klopp's depleted side only managing to win two Premier League games so far.

The good news for the Reds is that the international break saw them avoid picking up any more injuries, with all their players returning to Anfield in one piece. With Ibrahima Konate back in training and Andy Robertson returning to action imminently, things could be looking up for Klopp and his players.

2. Loser: England

Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland
Gareth Southgate has been on the receiving end of heavy criticism in recent months / Visionhaus/GettyImages

A disastrous summer for England culminated in a dour 1-0 defeat to Italy, confirming the Three Lions' relegation from League A of the Nations League and heaping further pressure on manager Gareth Southgate.

England's thrilling comeback against Germany lifted the mood somewhat, but the public's mood has turned and Southgate will know all too well the importance of a strong showing at the World Cup in November. His future in this job could well depend on it.

3. Winner: Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz
Havertz reminded us of his quality in Germany's clash with England / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

It's been a tough season for Havertz thus far, with the 23-year-old's indifferent performances for Chelsea earning him more than his fair share of criticism.

However, the German's two goals in his side's draw with England were a much-needed reminder of his quality and will have raised spirits around Stamford Bridge no end. His first goal, a delightful curled effort from outside the box, was Havertz at his elegant best and he'll be keen to bring that same quality back to West London with him.

4. Loser: Barcelona

Frenkie De Jong
Frenkie de Jong was one of several Barcelona players to return to Camp Nou with an injury / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

With a jam-packed October schedule full of crucial games, Barcelona went into the international break praying their stars returned unscathed. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.

Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay, Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo were among the players to return to the club injured, leaving manager Xavi rather light all over the pitch as Barca enter a run of games including both Madrid giants and Bayern Munich among others.

5. Winner: Son Heung-min

Son Heung-Min
Son looks well and truly back to his best / Chung Sung-Jun/GettyImages

A 13-minute hat-trick against Leicester was the perfect send-off for Son going before the international break, having previously failed to score this season.

The South Korean carried his upturn in form into his country's games against Costa Rica and Cameroon, scoring in each game and giving Spurs fans plenty of reason for optimism ahead of this weekend's North London derby.

6. Loser: France

Kylian Mbappe
France look like anything but world champions right now / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

France go into the World Cup as defending champions, but Les Bleus look anything like the best team in the world right now.

After hitting the target with just six of their 22 shots in a win over Austria, Didier Deschamps' side fell to a surprise defeat at the hands of Denmark. To top it off, captain Hugo Lloris missed both games through injury, casting yet more dark clouds over France as they prepare to defend their crown in November.