It could be argued that every year is odd but 2011 is an odd year in purely numerical terms. For all European football lovers, odd years mean no major championships to fill the summer months with daily coverage on terrestrial tv. However, there are other ways to fill your summer with football. This guide will let you know what is on and which household names will be taking part.
UEFA European Under 21 Championships
No Wilshere. No Carroll. No point in watching? No chance! With players such as Bojan from Barcelona, Manchester United target David de Gea and former Reading star Gylfi Sigurðsson all in action, this promises to be one of the most interesting tournaments in the competitions history. Oh, and England are playing in it too! They reached the semi-finals last time out. Can they go one better this year? Well Daniel Sturridge, Chris Smalling and co will be doing everything they can.
TUNE IN BECAUSE…Just like Garlic Bread, it’s the future – I’ve tasted it!
The 43rd time this competition has been played but who will win? Could it be the hosts Argentina? Will it be the holders Brazil? How about Costa Rica? Ok then, maybe not Costa Rica. But this month long event promises to be a true football lovers dream. With Messi, Tevez, Neymar and Suarez all set to take part I know what I will be doing this summer.
TUNE IN BECAUSE…Messi is there. That is good enough for me!
FIFA Under-17 World Cup
Ok so this isn’t the REAL World Cup that we all would have loved this summer. But consider this. Some of these players could be in the 2014 World Cup. Many will be in the 2018 World Cup. And lots of them will be in the 2022 World Cup, even if it is in Qatar of all places! So if you want a real glimpse into the future of world football then this is the place for you to go this summer. England are competing too! Wonderkid Raheem Sterling could be the star for the young 3 Lions.
TUNE IN BECAUSE…You can impress your mates down the pub in a few years time!
FIFA Under-20 World Cup
Probably the most hit-or-miss of FIFA competitions, this can either be the making of a star…or the beginning of a sharp decline on the world’s stage. Argentina have done very well in this competition of late, winning 5 of the last 8 tournaments. In terms of players, the afore-mentioned Messi has won the Golden Ball (best player of the event) trophy, as has Sergio Aguero. The last winner, though, was Dominic Adiyiah. Who you might ask? Joined Milan after the last tournament and has yet to play for them! Did play at the 2010 World Cup though. It was his header that Suarez handled off the line!
TUNE IN BECAUSE…You may see the new Messi! Or the new Dominic Adiyiah.