Pellistri and Iqbal celebrate making international debuts

Manchester United are not in action this weekend, and it is not an international break for their European stars.

Some players from further afield have been in action during this period, and two promising starlets have made their full international debuts.

Photo by DANIEL DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images

Uruguay took on Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday and Facundo Pellistri started the match as they ran out 1-0 winners.

The wideman, who is on loan at Alaves, started out wide in a 4-4-2 system, and was replaced on 70 minutes.

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As per SofaScore, Uruguay struggled slightly to get him into the game, and he had just 38 touches before he was replaced.

Pellistri did try three dribbles, attempting to showcase his trademark speed, but only one was successful. He was also booked.

That did not dampen Pellistri’s enthusiasm on the night, and after the match, he took to Instagram to celebrate the milestone achievement.

The message translated to read: “An unforgettable night full of emotions. Grateful to the whole group for accepting me in the best way. We are one step closer to the World Cup. Let’s go Uruguay!”

Elsewhere, Zidane Iqbal, who made his United debut last month in the 1-1 draw with Young Boys, made his bow for Iraq.

He was introduced as an 82th minute substitute as they went down 1-0 to Iran, and also took to social media to celebrate the achievement.

He has declared to play for Iraq, but said earlier this week that he is a ‘a proud Pakistani and Mancunian’ too.

Pellistri’s United teammate Edinson Cavani came off the bench for the final 20 minutes of the same match; the fact he did not start perhaps reflected his recent injury problems.

Fred played the full match for Brazil as they drew 1-1 away in Ecuador, in a match which saw two red cards in the first 20 minutes, including the dismissal of Tottenham defender Emerson Royal.

Alex Telles was an unused substitute in his first match since his recall to the Brazil setup.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.