Inside Blue Wed 11 Oct 2017
Antonio Rudiger scored his first goal for Germany in the latest round of international fixtures, but how have some of his Chelsea team-mates opened their own accounts for their countries?
Our Berlin-born defender headed in Joshua Kimmich's corner at the back post to claim Germany's third goal in their 5-1 win over Azerbaijan in Kaiserslautern, the country's final game of World Cup qualifying.
That made him the 11th current member of the Blues squad to have scored for their country, so how did some of the others get off the mark at international level?
Batshuayi has built a reputation for coming off the bench to score at Chelsea, just look at his strikes to seal last season's Premier League title against West Bromwich Albion and the winner at Atletico Madrid last month, but it is a habit he formed before arriving at Stamford Bridge. In fact, he showed that trait in his very first senior international appearance for Belgium, making it a debut to remember for the striker. The Red Devils were comfortably ahead in their Euro 2016 qualifier at home against Cyprus, with Eden Hazard one of the scorers as they led 4-0, giving manager Marc Wilmots the perfect opportunity to ease Batshuayi into international football as a 77th-minute substitute. The player himself had no intention of taking things easy, though, needing less than three minutes of his debut to get his first goal, smashing the ball in from outside the box to give the game an even more emphatic scoreline.
There can't be many bigger occasions to score your first international goal than in the knockout stages of a World Cup on home soil, and that is exactly what David Luiz did. It was far from the most spectacular goal of his career, but given the magnitude for the game and the intense atmosphere in Belo Horizonte for the all-South American last-16 tie between Brazil and Chile, he won't have cared about that in the slightest as he bundled the ball off opponent Gonzalo Jara and across the line, after Thiago Silva had flicked on Neymar's corner. Chile eventually equalised, but David Luiz kept his eye for goal focused and held his nerve to find the net with the first penalty of the eventual shootout, which Brazil won 3-2.
Fabregas has always looked at home on the big stage, so it is no surprise that he chose a major tournament as the moment to get his first goal for Spain, and one which saw him lifting the trophy at the end. That competition was Euro 2008 and the occasion was La Furia Roja's opening group game against Russia. Fabregas came off the bench in the pouring rain to replace another man with Chelsea links, Fernando Torres, as Spain looked to consolidate a 2-0 lead, and soon made an impact by setting up David Villa to complete his hat-trick and extend their margin. Roman Pavlyuchenko pulled one back for Russia late on, but Fabregas completed the 4-1 scoreline in injury time by diving to head in the rebound after Xavi's volley was parried by goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
If you're going to celebrate, why not make it a double celebration? That's exactly what Kante did, as he scored his first international goal on the same day as his 25th birthday. On what was a highly emotional occasion, in France's first match at the Stade de France since the previous year's terrorist attacks at the national stadium and elsewhere in Paris, Kante kept a calm head to start and finish the move for the opening goal eight minutes into the friendly against Russia, as Les Bleus continued their preparations for Euro 2016 in their country three months later. Kante won possession in the middle of the pitch before releasing Andre-Pierre Gignac down the right channel. Antoine Griezmann touched on the resulting cross, allowing Kante to arrive in the penalty box and slot a low finish into the bottom corner of Akinfeev's goal. In an unlikely coincidence, another France player who also happened to be celebrating his birthday that day, 29-year-old Dmitri Payet, also scored as the game finished 4-2 to the hosts.
Nigeria were feeling the pressure following a disappointing 2-2 draw with Liberia in the first leg of the final round of qualifying for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but Moses helped make sure the home fixture was a far more straightforward affair. First he provided the pinpoint free-kick for defender Efe Ambrose to head the opening goal inside the first minute, and then, after Ahmed Musa had extended their lead, he scored for the first time in international football just after half-time, latching on to Nosa Igiebor's pass. He wasn't finished there, though, getting a second goal before the end of the match as the Super Eagles emerged as 6-1 winners to secure their place at the Africa Cup of Nations, with then-Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi also getting a rare goal from the penalty spot.
A few eyebrows were raised when Spain manager Vicente del Bosque included an uncapped Pedro in his squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but the then-Barcelona forward wasted no time in vindicating that decision. Having been given his international debut a week earlier, he got his first start in the side's final warm-up friendly before the tournament began, against Poland in Murcia. Two other future Chelsea players, Torres and Fabregas, had already found the net on their return from serious injuries, Pedro providing the assist for Torres' goal, when Pedro added his name to the score sheet in the 81st minute. He completed the 6-0 win by pouncing on a loose ball following a weaving run from Torres and delightfully chipped it over goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak. Our number 11 went on to make five appearances in South Africa, including starting the semi and the final, as Spain won the World Cup for the first and only time.