The Champions League Final only took place on Saturday and already it has been too long without regular football!
With the Women’s World Cup only just starting and England’s men’s team flattering to deceive in Dublin, it could be a long summer ahead, especially with the Copa America compromising hours of valuable time spent asleep.
However, with the likes of Messi, Neymar, Cavani, James Rodriguez and others, there are plenty of reasons to keep abreast of the action.
Matches aren’t on ‘that’ late
Define late? In terms of catching the final La Liga game on a Saturday (albeit a naff one like Getafe v Granada), the Copa America doesn’t keep you up much longer than that. Compared to the World Cup last year, most kick-off times are consistent with the Brazil 2014 schedule. Going back another 12 months, we had the Confederations Cup, again in South America with evening kick-offs, so the Copa America games won’t go on longer than what we have been used to over the past few years.
A handful of games begin at 10 or 10:30pm such as Argentina v Paraguay, Brazil v Peru, Argentina v Jamaica and Brazil v Venezuela so there can be compromises made throughout the group games. The late nights are unlikely to affect even the newest of watchers. Besides, the sun will only just be setting by that point, and who can sleep in this sort of heat anyway?
2011 provided plenty of surprises
Uruguay won the 2011 version thanks to goals from Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan in the final as they beat Paraguay 3-0. Two underdogs of South American football reached the final, leaving Brazil and Argentina behind in the quarters. Paraguay even made it there without winning a single match in the whole tournament!
Peru and Venezuela contested for third place having seen off Colombia and Chile as the tournament was virtually turned on its head, proving that even in amongst such strong competition there can be shocks. We’re unlikely to see a repeat of those dramatics this year, but don’t be surprised if the semis feature an unlikely nation.
Jamaica are playing!
Surely one of the greatest sporting fairytales of all time was when the Jamaican bob-sleigh team qualified for the Winter Olympics in 1988, 1992 and notably 1994. With such pedigree behind them, can this spur on the country’s footballers to earn some credit in Chile this year?
The Reggae Boyz were invited to make up the numbers and will play in their first tournament alongside Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Boasting a squad featuring predominantly English-based players like Adrian Mariappa, Wes Morgan, Jobi McAnuff, Simon Dawkins, Joel Grant and Garath McCleary, they travel with plenty of support from around the world. Surely everyone will be backing the underdogs to get something against the giants of world football.