These are still uncertain times for football. We don’t know when fans will be allowed back into stadiums, and we can only hope that there will no further interruptions to the schedule. But if all goes to plan, 2021 is going to be a non-stop year of footy action. With the European Championships and other competitions being postponed from last season and played this year instead, it means the 2020-21 season needs to be squeezed into a very tight number of dates.
Here are some of the things we have to look forward to in the next few months.
Spanish Super Cup
As last year, the Spanish Super Cup is being played as a Final Four, but rather than Saudi Arabia as originally planned, the venue is Andalusia (Cordoba, Malaga and Seville) from January 13 to 17.
Barça qualify as Liga runners-up last season and on January 13 will play one of the Copa del Rey finalists, Real Sociedad. If Barça win that, they’ll play the winner of the other semi-final between Athletic Club and Real Madrid.
Champions League is back
If Barça qualify, the quarter finals and semi-finals will all be played in April and early May, ready for the final in Istanbul on May 29.
Clásico at the Bernabéu
La Liga is scheduled to end the weekend of May 22/23. And one of the most decisive fixtures of all will be the one between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona on April 10 or 11.
Real Madrid won the game at Camp Nou earlier in the season, making it more essential than ever for Barça to continue their strong recent form in ‘enemy territory’.
Two cup finals
The 2020-21 Copa del Rey faces the unusual situation of being played while the previous edition’s champion has yet to be decided. It is hoped that Real Sociedad and Athletic Club (who knocked Barça out) will be able to play their historic all-Basque final on April 4.
The winners will only be champions for a fortnight, because on April 17 the final of the current season’s edition will be played. Barça’s bid to be one of the participants begins in January.
Euro 2020 in 2021
Once the club season is over, football won’t stop because from June 11 to July 11, international football takes centre stage with the European Championships, which were cancelled last summer, being played at various venues around the continent, leading up to the final at Wembley. Barça are expected to be well-represented at the event.
At the same time in Argentina and Colombia, the also re-scheduled Copa America is being played in a new extended format with six-team groups and with Australia and Qatar featuring as guest nations.
Not forgetting as well that from July 21 to August 7, Japan will be hosting the men’s and women’s Olympic football tournaments.