The 2024 sporting calendar is delightfully poised to be dominated by several mouth-watering spectacles that will have football enthusiasts across the globe glued to their screens.
Buckle up as we delve into ten must-watch football extravaganzas set to unfold this year.
The 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship is set to be staged in Germany from June 14 to July 14.
Euro 2024 kicks off in Munich and concludes in Berlin’s Olympiastadion. The tournament will feature matches played across ten venues, including stadiums that hosted the World Cup in 2006 and the Dusseldorf Arena.
A total of 24 teams from across Europe will vie for the continent’s holy grail in the upcoming competition, with Italy aiming to defend their crown.
Following their defeat to Gli Azzurri in the previous final, England will storm Germany with a vengeance, and their qualifier campaign solidifies their position as tournament favourites.
Africa Cup of Nations
The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and hosted in Ivory Coast, stands as the crown jewel of African football and the premier sporting event on the continent.
Originally planned for the summer of 2023, the tournament’s schedule was adjusted to the beginning of 2024 due to the rainy season in the host country during June and July.
The opening match is scheduled for January 13, while the grand finale will take place approximately four weeks later on February 11 at the National Stadium in Abidjan.
Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah will be eager to help his nation secure the highly coveted title after losing out to Senegal in the previous edition.
Copa America holders Argentina will put their title on the line at the 2024 edition of the tournament in the United States, co-organised by CONCACAF.
For only the second time in history and a first since the 2016 instalment which also took place in the United States, the upcoming tournament will feature 16 teams, including six CONCACAF nations.
Kick-off is scheduled for June 20 with Argentina poised to get the ball rolling, squaring off against either Trinidad and Tobago or Canada at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The final is set to take place on July 14 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, with Brazil gunning for redemption after a narrow defeat to Argentina in the 2021 final.
AFC Asian Cup
The 2023 AFC Asian Cup marks the 18th edition of Asia’s quadrennial international men’s football championship, organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
The tournament will be hosted by defending champions Qatar and includes 24 national teams following the expansion in 2019.
Qatar will be aiming to defend their crown on home turf after swatting aside Japan at the 2019 final in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Due to the high summer temperatures in the Persian Gulf and Qatar’s participation in the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the tournament is now slated to take place from January 12 to February 10.
Champions League Final
England’s Wembley Stadium forms the backdrop for the grand finale of the most anticipated club football fixture in Europe – the Champions League final.
The mouth-watering showpiece event slated for June this year marks the 69th edition of Europe’s premier club football competition.
It is also the eighth time the revered Wembley will host the main European final for club football.
The Champions League final is slated for June 1 and defending champions Manchester City are heavily fancied to be in the mix after a blistering group phase campaign.
Women’s Champions League Final
The San Mames stadium in Bilbao will host the women’s Champions League final this year.
Building on the excitement of the 2023 final, where Barcelona mounted a thrilling comeback from a two-goal deficit to secure a 3-2 victory over Wolfsburg in Eindhoven, fans eagerly anticipate another captivating showdown.
England’s hopes of landing the coveted title now hinge on Chelsea following Arsenal’s shock defeat to Paris FC in the initial qualifying round.
A potential Women’s Champions League triumph for Chelsea would not only mark the club’s first but also serve as a fitting way for Emma Hayes to sign off as manager ahead of her move to the United States.
However, it could prove a difficult task to wrestle the Champions League crown off the claws of the formidable Barcelona with the final scheduled for May 25.
Europa League Final
The 53rd edition of Europe’s secondary club football tournament – the Europa League – will be played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, the Republic of Ireland on May 22.
Record winners and title holders Sevilla won’t get a chance to defend their crown following an abysmal Champions League campaign, opening the door for another victor to emerge.
Premier League leaders Liverpool are heavily fancied to win the title while their English counterparts West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion will fancy their chances of upsetting the apple cart.
Europa Conference League Final
The 2024 Europa Conference League final will take place at the Agia Sophia Stadium in Athens, Greece, on May 29.
The climax of the previous season will undoubtedly go down in footballing folklore as West Ham United beat Serie A side Fiorentina in the Czech Republic to halt a 43-year trophy drought.
A similar tale in the 2024 instalment wouldn’t hurt, considering the triumphant side in this season’s final is guaranteed a slot in the group stage of the 2024/25 Europa League.
However, if the team has already qualified for the Champions League or Europa League based on their league performance, this additional qualification will not be applicable.
FA Cup Final
The oldest competition in English football reaches its pinnacle on May 25, with two sides vying for one of the most prestigious titles in England.
Unsurprisingly, Man City are favourites again after winning the treble last year. If they want to repeat the feat, success in this competition will be paramount to Pep Guardiola’s side.
League Cup Final
Manchester United have missed a chance to defend their League Cup title after being dumped out of the competition by last season’s finalists Newcastle United.
The Magpies were also eliminated by Chelsea who are one of four sides in the penultimate phase of the tournament, alongside Middlesbrough, Liverpool and Fulham.
The Carabao Cup final is slated for February 25. While anticipation for a Chelsea vs Liverpool showpiece event is rife, the unpredictable nature of cup tournaments leaves the door open for an unlikely competitor to emerge.
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