The Return of Soccer

Leagues Making Their Way Back

Finally! soccer is about to resume after a long hiatus, and we are here to keep you up to date on all the leagues starting back up and everything you might need to know to get used to the new normal in world soccer. La Liga has just started back, and Italy and England are not far behind. So let’s get caught up on some soccer!

What does the New Normal look like?

The excitement of the return of action in some of the biggest soccer leagues in the world is palpable. But with the new normal that we are facing, a return to play looks a lot different under these unusual circumstances. The first, and biggest change is the lack of fans. Since it is nearly impossible to let fans back into stadiums while observing social distancing, it seems like the air has been sucked out of the grounds. An interesting positive though is that you can hear everyone on the pitch, and I’m sure the players are happy with the added ease of communication. There are a couple interesting ways that some clubs have been dealing with this new position they have found themselves in. Thankfully, the German Bundesliga has been testing out ideas for how to get fans more involved, and how to make the players feel more comfortable playing in front of severely limited spectators. Borussia Mönchengladbach has given fans the opportunity to submit photos and reserve their normal spot for a life-sized cardboard cutout of themselves. Other teams from smaller leagues have even gone to extremes by having live interactions from the fans via video chat. It will certainly be interesting to see how clubs continue to interact with supporters in the remainder of this season.

English Premier League- June 17th

The Premier League will make its return on June 17th, having played some unofficial friendlies to get back to match fitness. Even with Liverpool all but wrapping the title up before the mandatory break, the majority focus of excitement in England is the race for a spot in Europe, and the race for Premier League survival for the bottom teams. There is only an 8 point difference in the table between 15th spot and the bottom. How are clubs in the premier league going to cope without fans though? They are actually considering playing sounds from EA Sports FIFA to fill the void of fan noise (talk about Ea Sports being “In the game”). One final exciting thing to look forward to is how the clubs will interact with supporters, and how it will affect the game going forward.

Spanish La Liga- June 11th

La Liga started back on the 11th of June, and much like the Premier League they are trying interesting new ways to make the most out of the new normal in soccer. Also like the EPL, La Liga will be using EA Sports FIFA crowd noises in their stadiums. La Liga is one of the tighter title races in Europe at the moment, with 2 points separating league leaders, Barcelona and second place Real Madrid. Real Madrid will also have the difficulty of not being able to play at the Santiago Bernabeu, as it is getting remodeled currently (one benefit for them from this pandemic, as it may be completed ahead of the 2022 scheduled date). Matches for Real Madrid will be played at their reserve team stadium, that holds only 8,000 supporters, but that should be of little consequence without fans.

Italian Serie A- June 20th

Serie A will be one of the latest leagues to resume in Europe, even though they are resuming the Coppa Italia on the 13th. Even though Italy was one of the countries that was hit hardest by the coronavirus, it will start back on the 20th of June. This should be a dramatic ending to the season with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus only one point atop the table. All signs point to a rejuvenated Ronaldo & co. after taking advantage to the mandatory break in the season.

Which league are you most excited to see return? Let us know!

 

About the author: Mike Boyd

 

 

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