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While every soccer competition, national and international, has its own schedule, professional soccer competitions typically take 10 months to complete, and most of them are held at the same time. This means that generally speaking, soccer fans get 10 months of soccer season to enjoy their favorite pastime activity during the year.
Most soccer competitions opt to start their first games either in the fall or in the spring. Due to international competitions such as the Champions League, European national competitions typically start in the fall. Even though there are numerous start-date possibilities.
But what about specific countries?
In case you wondered when do major soccer competition start each year, you’ve come to the right place: In this article, we’ll list the beginning and ending dates for 10 major soccer competitions around the world. Enjoy the reading!
Premier League Season Start and End
The English Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, available in 212 territories and to almost 4.7 billion people. It should come as no surprise that this is the first soccer competition we’re writing about in this article. There are 20 teams that participate in each season of this league, fighting for survival and glory.
Functioning under this name since 1992, the Premier League is one of Europe’s youngest soccer competitions. It was founded by soccer teams that decided that they no longer want to play in the First Division, but rather start a new competition and cash in on lucrative TV rights. A total of 49 teams have had a chance to compete in this tournament, and just 7 of them have won the title.
The Premier league typically starts in August and runs until May. Each team plays every single participant both home and away, meaning that every team plays 38 matches throughout the Premier League season. As fans of this league, most of us know that the games are held on Saturday and Sunday.
For the 2020-21 season, there were no significant scheduling changes for the Premier League, despite the pandemic; the competition started slightly later than usual, on September 12th, and the final game was scheduled for May 23rd.
MLS Season Start and End
There’s one competition that American soccer fans look forward to every year – the MLS. This soccer championship is technically international, as it involves teams from both the US and Canada. Altogether, there are 27 soccer teams competing for the title.
Founded in 1993, the MLS was founded in hopes that the US would get to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup. However, this didn’t happen. The first official MLS season was played in 1996, with 10 teams. Interesting fact: Today, an average MLS game has 20,000 attendees, making it one of the 3 most-watched sports in the US.
MLS, the primary soccer competition in North America, typically starts its first games in late February or early March. The MLS season usually ends in mid-October, with each of the participating teams having played 34 games during the season.
For those wondering, the MLS season has been known to shift schedule: In some extraordinary cases, such as a global pandemic, the season can be moved or even canceled. The 2021 season has been moved to start on April 3rd, while the finals of the MLS Cup were moved to December 11th.
Bundesliga Season Start and End
Bundesliga, the primary soccer competition in Germany, is another championship that is commonly referred to as one of the most popular soccer competitions in the world. A total of 18 teams competes for the title of the best soccer team in Germany, while the ones that fail to perform to the top standards of the Bundesliga are relegated to a lower-tier competition.
With its first games played in 1963, Bundesliga is the oldest soccer competition on the list so far. With an average attendance of just over 45,000 fans per game, Bundesliga is at the top of the list of the most attended soccer competitions. A total of 56 teams have competed in this league, with 29 different title winners since its inception.
A typical season in the Bundesliga runs from August until May, with most games played on the weekend, just like in the Premier League. The fans of German soccer typically have a choice of 6 Saturday games and 2 Sunday games to enjoy during the Bundesliga season. The league also has a winter break, typically after 17 rounds of games have been played. The break lasts for around a month. A total of 306 games is played in a single season of Bundesliga.
Just like all other soccer competitions, the Bundesliga schedule is susceptible to changes due to unforeseen circumstances. For example, the 2020-21 season started a month later than usual, on September 18th. The final game was scheduled for May 15th, 2021.
Serie A Season Start and End
Serie A is the primary soccer competition in Italy, as well as one of the most popular ones in the world. With 20 teams competing for the championship title and fighting against getting relegated, it is one of our favorites to watch.
Played since 1898, or 1929 as round-robin, the Italian Serie A takes over the title of the oldest soccer competition on the list. During its existence, a total of 66 teams have had the chance to compete for the Serie A title, but just 16 soccer teams have earned it.
Usually, the Italian Serie A season starts in August and lasts until May, just like most European soccer competitions. Every team has two goes at all the other teams, playing them once home and once away, for a total of 38 games per team. An average game in this league has around 18,000 viewers.
Even though the pandemic didn’t affect the 2020-21 season significantly (September 19th – May 23rd), it did affect the 2019-20 season that took almost a full year to complete. In the future, it is expected for the competition to retain its regular schedule.
La Liga Season Start and End
Here’s another one of the top soccer leagues in the world – the Spanish La Liga. Just like its previously listed Italian counterpart, each La Liga season has 20 participating teams. After the season has ended, the three lowest-seeded teams are relegated to a lower division (Segunda Division) and replaced by the top two teams and a play-off winner from that competition.
La Liga was founded in 1929, which makes it one of the oldest soccer competitions in the world. Teams from this league hold the records for most UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA World Cup titles, which is what makes it one of the most competitive, and most-watched, soccer championships on the planet.
Typically, the season in La Liga starts in August and lasts until May. During this period, every team all others twice, for a total of 38 matches. The average stadium attendance for La Liga is just under 27,000 viewers per game.
Just like most other European soccer competitions, La Liga season was just slightly moved due to pandemic. The first games were played on September 12th, 2020, while the finals were scheduled for May 23rd, 2021. The league is likely to keep this schedule in the future.
Ligue 1 Season Start and End
If you’ve ever wondered what the French national soccer competition is, here’s your answer; it’s Ligue 1, and it’s one of the most entertaining soccer championships in the world. Operating on the relegation and promotion system, this soccer competition involves 20 teams that fight for survival year after year.
First founded in 1930, Ligue 1 has been renamed to what we know it as currently in 2002. One interesting fact about this soccer competition is that it actually has an international composition: 19 of its teams are from France, while 1 team from Monaco also gets to compete for the title of the French soccer champion.
Ligue 1, the top soccer competition in France, usually starts in August and lasts until late April or early May. During this period, every team plays every other team twice, once home and once away, for a total of 38 games per team. This provides the followers of this competition with plenty of games to look forward to.
For the 2020-21 season, the schedule of Ligue 1 wasn’t moved in a significant way: The first games were played on August 21st, 2020, while the last ones took place on May 23rd, 2021. For future seasons, a similar schedule should be followed.
Primera Division Season Start and End
Primera Division is Argentina’s top, and most popular, soccer division. Just like its European counterparts, this competition is based on the system of promotion and relegation with the nation’s second division, Primera Nacional.
Argentina was one of the first countries in the world to establish a formal soccer championship, with the first official Primera Division games held in 1891. Today, this league remains recognized as one of the top soccer competitions in the world, with 26 teams fighting for the title of the best team in Argentina.
As there are a few more teams than in a typical European league, Primera Division season typically lasts from July until March. The number of matches played during the season is high: The fans of Argentinian soccer have almost 280 matches to enjoy during the season.
Unfortunately, Primera Division was one of the competitions that were canceled for the 2020-21 season due to the pandemic. Instead, Copa de la Liga Profesional was scheduled for July 18th, 2021 as a contingency competition. All of the teams that made it through the past season received their invitation to the cup, as well as the two teams promoted from the lower tier division. The final match was scheduled for December 12th, 2021.
Brazilian Championship A Series Season Start and End
The primary soccer competition in Brazil is Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A or Brazilian Championship A Series. However, most people commonly just refer to it as Brasileiro. This is another soccer competition system that is based on the promotion and relegation principle with a lower-tier league, Campeonato Brasileiro Serie B in this case.
In place since 1959, or 1971 in the form we see it in today, the Brazilian championship involves 20 teams that compete for the title of the best soccer club in Brazil. This is the most most-watched soccer league in the Americas, which should not come as a surprise considering the fun factor it brings to the table.
The usual season in the Brazilian Championship A series starts in late April and runs until the beginning of December. This makes it an ideal competition to follow for those who are suffering through the European soccer break that typically occurs in this period. A season in this championship can have as many as 380 matches to choose from.
For the 2020 season, the scheduling had to be shifted: The competition failed to start at its usual time and was moved to an August 8th, 2020 start. The last game was scheduled for February 24th, 2021.
J1 League Season Start and End
Moving onto a different continent, J1 League is Japan’s primary male soccer competition. After experimenting with various competition systems, this league has moved on to the fan-favorite single-stage system in which the winner is whoever has the most points at the end of the season, just like in all the other leagues listed. Similar to most others on the list, J1 League also relegates the two worst-performing teams to the J2 division and replaces them with the best-performing teams from that division.
J1 League was founded in 1992. As mentioned, various experiments were run when it comes to the competition style, but due to the fan feedback, the league has returned to the standard, the European model of having 20 teams that each play one another twice during the season in order to determine the competition winner.
The main Japanese soccer competition typically starts in late February and ends in December. During the season, a total of 306 games is played, providing the fans with numerous hours of excitement and entertainment.
The schedule wasn’t affected by the pandemic for the 2020 season, and it started on February 21st, 2020, ending on December 19th. The 2021 season start was set for February 26th, while the final game was scheduled for December 4th.
A-League Season Start and End
While not nearly as popular as some other soccer competitions on this list, the Australian A-League is still one of the major national soccer competitions and as such deserves a spot on this list.
This also happens to be the youngest soccer competition on the list, with its first official season being held in 2004. A total of 12 teams competes in this league; 11 of them are from Australia, and one is from New Zealand. The season in A-League is different from the European concept most soccer fans are accustomed to: The season has a 26-round regular season, which then moves on to the Finals Series playoff that includes the 6 highest-placed teams.
The season start for the Australian league is set in October, while the last game is usually played in May. Last year, 148 matches were played, to the joy of numerous soccer fans from Australia and New Zealand.
The scheduling for the 2020-21 season was impacted by the pandemic, with the late start on December 28th, 2020, and the finals set for June 30th, 2021.
Whether you’re a fan of soccer played in Europe, Asia, or the Americas, there’s always a soccer competition to follow, as evident from the list above. What’s also evident is that there’ll always be soccer to watch, come hell or high water. Even without any fans in the stadiums, soccer is still a thriving sport that still has to look forward to its best days.