Are you suddenly feeling sad and depressed, these days?
Did you notice that you are getting easily agitated and irritated?
Do you think that you are not able to concentrate like usual and you seem to daydream a lot?
Have you lost your ability to sleep? and when you did, was your sleep very restless?
Do you feel that you are craving for something but yet, not able to point your finger at?
And you wonder, what is wrong with me?
If you do, congratulations! You are officially a “soccer addict.”
It’s the end of the European season as usual. It’s the time of the year when a sudden drop in the soccer watching enjoyment leads to the “soccer withdrawal syndrome.”
But need not to worry. For this soccer-loving population, there is always an alternative.
Throughout the summer, there will be some soccer event that might attract your interest. Although they might not be as great as the original one, but nevertheless, they suffice. It helps reduce your craving sensation until the next season starts again.
2011 summer events in chronological order:
To start with: this weekend will be filled with international games all around the world.
Many friendlies are on schedule like:
US vs. Spain (Sat. 4:30 pm EST)
Brazil vs. Holland (Sat. 3:10 pm EST)
But most eyes will be on the qualification games that are going to take place in Europe and Africa:
June 3, 4, 7: Euro 2012 qualifications
June 3, 4, 5: African Cup of Nations 2012 qualifications
Things to look for in these games:
In Europe, if Germany beat Austria (Friday) and Azerbaijan (Tuesday) they will get closer to becoming the first European side to qualify to the finals, provided that Belgium and Turkey draw their game (Friday).
In Africa, it’s a do or die for two African superpowers:
Egypt, the record seven times winners, has one point from three games and if they lose to South Africa (Sunday), they are all but eliminated.
Cameroon, the four time winners, also will not be able to afford any more dropped points. They have 4 points from three games and will host Senegal (9 points from 3) on Saturday.
Botswana, surprise surprise, is the first and only country to qualify to the finals, so far, while Togo is eliminated.
Ivory Coast will book their place if they beat Benin and Rwanda failed to beat Burundi.
Other tournaments include:
June 5 – June 25 (in the USA)
The favorites Mexico and the USA will fight it out for the bragging right as the best team in the CONCACAF and a place in the 2013 Confederation cup. Other contenders are Costa Rica and Honduras.
U-21 European Championship
June 11 – June 26 (in Denmark)
England, Spain and host Denmark are the favorites.
Germany, the holder, and Italy, the record 5 times winners, didn’t qualify
FIFA U-17 World Cup
June 18 – July 10 (in Mexico)
The USA holds the record for qualifying to every tournament since inception.
Switzerland and Nigeria, the last two winners, didn’t qualify.
Mexico, the host, won it in 2005 and will be one of the favorites.
Other contenders include Brazil (3 times winners), Argentina, France, Germany, England and Netherlands.
FIFA Women World Cup
June 26 – July 17 (in Germany)
Germany is the host and the two times holder and will be the heavy favorite. Their main opposition will come from the USA and Brazil.
There are many other teams that can cause the upset like Canada and Japan. As a matter of fact, the competition has never looked so tight. Look for an amazing cup.
July 1 – July 24 (in Argentina)
Costa Rica has replaced Japan and it will be again a Pan-American cup. This cup could be the international arrival party for the best player of the current era.
Messi is playing at home and free of the pressure of his idol, Maradona, that impeded his play at the world cup.
But as always, we shouldn’t discount the Brazilians. It’s going to be huge if both of these teams reach the finale. Could we see a Messi vs. Neymar finale? Certainly, I hope so.
U-19 European Championship
July 20 – August 1 (in Romania)
Qualifications are still going on, as we speak.
FIFA U-20 World Cup
July 29 – August 20 (in Colombia)
The USA and Ghana, the holder, will not be there. But the usual suspects are all there; Brazil (4 times winners), Argentina (the record 6 times winners), Nigeria and Spain among others.
Major league actions throughout the summer:
The Brazilian league
The Russian league
For the North American fans their will be a lot of club friendlies throughout the summer that pit a European clubs or South American club against MLS clubs or against each others.
And few more things:
The last stages of the Argentinean league: Concludes on June 19.
The final of the Copa Libertadores: on June 15 and 22.
Enjoy your summer.
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