Friday, December 8, 2023

Neither the World Cup nor the European Championship: How to overcome the mono of a summer without football… for men

So many years hearing that the men’s soccer calendar is oversaturated (which it is and a lot) and suddenly it appears a summer in which all agendas are absolutely empty. There will be no World Cup (it will be in November), but neither will the European Championship, Copa América, Copa Asia… Nothing with which to overcome the monkey of goals that the most soccer fans feel each season between the end of a club season and the beginning of the Next.

The good thing about a business as global and exploited as football is that it always offers alternatives. In particular, this summer the women’s teams, with three tournaments of different categories, while all his male companions rest. Because the men’s U-17 European Championship has already ended (Spain fell in the quarterfinals against Portugal) and for the U-19 they did not get a ticket.

Women’s Spain will be the highlight for this month and a half of football scarcity, but there will also be classics such as the preliminary rounds of European club competitions, the leagues that don’t stop during the summer season and, of course, the pre-season friendlies that As of right now, the teams from the main leagues in the world will begin to play.

Women’s European Championship

Between July 6 and 31, the 13th Women’s European Championship will be played in England, a tournament whose dispute was initially scheduled for 2021 and that ended up being delayed a year due to the pandemic and its consequent coincidence with the Men’s European Championship and the Tokyo Olympics. The entire tournament will be seen on TVE.

The Spanish team coached by Jorge Vilda is already preparing for the tournament that represents the fourth participation in the history of the national team and the third in a row: Spain was third in 1997 and fell in the quarterfinals in 2013 and 2017.

Despite his historical lack of titles, Spain is among the favorites to succeed the Netherlands in the list of winners, thanks to the growth experienced in recent years and the presence of world stars such as Alexia Putellas, current Ballon d’Or, and despite the last-minute absence due to injury to forward Jennifer Hermoso .

In addition to the absolute tournament, women’s Spain has two other dates this summer. The U-19 European Championship has just concluded and for August, between 10 and 28, there will be the U-20 World Cup, in which Spain is presented as the current runner-up: it lost the 2018 final against Japan.

Real Madrid and Barcelona will play a friendly match at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on July 23. | FILE, ARCHIVE

Champions and Conference

It’s been a little over a month since Real Madrid won their 14th Champions League against Liverpool, but the best club competition in the world is already underway. And they did it with a peculiar Final Four between the champions of the four worst leagues on the continent in Reykjavík: Fiorita from San Marino, Inter Club d’Escaldes from Andorra, Levadia from Estonia and Vikingur from Iceland.

The Conference League, the third continental category, which will celebrate its second edition in the 22-23 academic year, will also start very soon, on July 7, with the 30 first leg matches of the first qualifying round. Activity for Villarreal, the Spanish representative in the competition, will not begin until August 18, in the last tie prior to the group stage.

The start of the Europa League will take longer, which with the format inaugurated last year only has 21 determined participants, at the expense of those who fall from the previous rounds of the Champions League. The second European competition will start its previous ones on August 4, while Betis and Real Sociedad will not have duties until September, already in the group stage.

And the leagues?

Despite the fact that it was speculated that the World Cup in November could bring forward the start of the main leagues to July, in the end this will not be the case and all of them will start on their more or less usual dates. In Spain, both in First and Second, the starting signal for the course will be the weekend of August 14-15.

The Italian Serie A has opted for the same date as LaLiga, while the German Bundesliga, the English Premier League and Ligue 1 will start a week earlier, around August 6. As an appetizer, on July 30 the English (Liverpool-Manchester City) and German (RB Leipzig-Bayern) supercups will be held, followed by the French (PSG-Nantes) one day later. And, of course, the European Super Cup on August 10, with Real Madrid facing Eintracht Frankfurt.

the friendlies

And as always, for those who love coffee and are eager to watch football, there will always be friendlies. This summer, moreover, without the need to wait for those who have played tournaments of national teams finish their postponed vacations to see them play with their jersey.

One of the great attractions on this plot will be the classic that Barcelona and Real Madrid will play at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas (USA) on July 23. This meeting is part of the so-called Soccer Champions tours, in which the Italian Juventus (which the two great Spaniards will face) and the Mexican Chivas and América also participate.

Barça already has games scheduled against Inter Miami and New York Red Bulls, while Real Madrid has not confirmed any more summer commitments. Atlético, for its part, has already announced matches against Numancia, Juventus and Manchester United, in addition to its participation in the historic Carranza Trophy in Cádiz.


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