Football Is Back in 2021

Football Is Back in 2021

Football is back! Well, not THAT Football. The other Football. The one that you probably thought I was referring to is back in a sense as well since training camp is well underway. But I was talking about football, the one that you actually play with your feet. The one that most other popular sports like American Football, Rugby, Basketball, Handball, Lacrosse, Ice Hockey, Field Hockey, Water Polo, and good ol’ Table Foosball are all derived from. We call it “Soccer” here in the states. It is officially back as the European season gets underway! It feels like these guys never get a proper break seeing as how it was just a few weeks ago these guys were going all out while participating in Continental tournaments (Euros, Copa America, Gold Cup, Nations League) and the Olympics for their respective countries.

Nevertheless, the season commences in England this weekend as we look to see if Manchester City can defend their crown if Liverpool can return to form after a snake-bitten injury beleaguered season or to see if Chelsea under Tuchel is the real deal and ready to crash the party and win the EPL trophy to match their surprising run to Champions League title. Man City has put up a record figure of £100 million ($138 million) for the transfer of Jack Grealish and is still hotly pursuing Harry Kane from Tottenham. Kane is desperate to compete for trophies and is getting no younger- but Spurs are playing hardball. Can City pull off two major buys like that in one transfer cycle? If they do, can anyone actually beat them? Who will be leaving the Etihad as a result? Is Manchester United finally tired of playing 2nd fiddle in this decade to their noisy neighbors?

The German Bundesliga starts up this weekend as well and we will be asking the same question we always ask: can anyone besides Borussia Dortmund actually challenge Bayern Munich or will it be another coronation parade for the guys with the T-Mobile logos on the front of their jerseys? It looks like Erling Haaland picked up where he left off and is still scoring golazos at an alarmingly rapid rate. If he has another 40 goal season, there’s no way Dortmund doesn’t sell him next season right?

France’s Ligue 1 already had its first matchday this past weekend. We will be watching to see if Lille can defend their crown or were they one-season wonder pretenders like Milli Vanilli? They already dropped points on Sunday conceding a heartbreaking own goal at the buzzer in the 97th minute to Metz who was playing most of the 2nd half with a man down due to Kouyate being sent off with a red card. Is PSG ready to shake off the devastation of getting knocked out of the Champions League semifinals by Man City? Will the addition of the G.O.A.T. Lionel Messi, fresh off his first major trophy for Argentina (finally thank God), to an already superstar studded roster get them over the hump this year? Can Mbappe get refocused after that horrible showing he had for France in the Euros or is it more heartbreak ahead?

Over in Spain, we have lots of question marks due to surprising changes in La Liga. We have Real Madrid without Zidane at the helm once again and we have Barcelona with the additions of Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia, and a pissed-off Kun Aguero because his best friend Messi that he wanted to play with just left for Paris. Is this the year that Atletico Madrid can pounce and make some noise? Is Villareal ready to take it to the next level after their stunning David vs. Goliath defeat of Man United in the Europa League final? Only time will tell. Lots of questions and the answers we witness will be amazing to watch. So queue up the early morning weekend coffees and the 3 PM call-outs from work for those midweek kickoffs! It should be a fun ride because finally, Football is back!

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