If you had the money, and the inclination, you could follow the summer season across the world, always keeping one step ahead of winter. While that may sound like a lot of effort to avoid a snowball, an easier and infinitely more rewarding pastime could be chasing the soccer season around the globe.
Thanks to the unparalleled access to live coverage of the world soccer leagues, you can now follow the sport 24/7, 365 days a year, and never have to leave the comfort of your armchair.
Here’s when the soccer season starts and ends around the globe.
Soccer Seasons In The Americas
- USA: February – October
- Brazil: May – December
- Argentina: July – December
In the Americas, soccer seasons run throughout the summer and usually end around December.
In Brazil, the National League, which includes the Serie A, B, C, and D, runs from May until December.
As for the MLS, both the Eastern and Western conferences run from February until October, North America, while having stunning summer seasons, can also experience incredibly harsh winters, so it makes sense for the league to run throughout the milder seasons.
The Argentinian Primera Division, another league based in South America, runs from July until December. There are many other leagues that also run through these months, and it is possible, especially with time zone differences, to watch soccer throughout the day and night.
If finding a soccer game to watch at 5 am is your thing, you need to look no further than the Australian League. Running from early October until the following April, the fellas from the land down underplay their soccer throughout the Australian summer months.
Being probably the most southern league you will likely watch, at least until the Antarctic first division ever decides to form has its benefits.
The advantage of most nations’ winter period actually being the Australian summer means that you should be guaranteed a game of soccer whatever the time, whatever the weather.
Thankfully for soccer fans, there are also plenty of other leagues that start later in the year and play right through the winter periods.
Noticeably, European leagues all tend to run from July/August, until the May of the following calendar year. And thanks to our friends in the Southern hemisphere, Australia, we’re looking at you here, a fan really can follow soccer indefinitely.
British Soccer Start Dates
- England: September – May
The English leagues, from the Premier League, Championship, and right down to the lower leagues, all start in early September and end around the middle of May.
The Premiership and its fellow leagues in England also refrain from a winter break, unlike some of their European counterparts, which means armchair fans the world over can enjoy the Premier League throughout December.
Historically, the English Championship starts slightly earlier than the Premier League, there are more teams competing, and thus more games to complete.
The Premiership starts around two weeks after, with the 38 game season being completed around the 23rd of May.
Fans in the Uk are now allowed back into their stadiums, and hopefully, future restrictions permitting, the biggest league in the world should remain on track and with capacity crowds watching.
It has been a tradition in the Uk for games to be played on Boxing Day (December 26th) as well as on New Years Day, and it has been this tradition that has held the FA’s hand when it comes to the introduction of a winter break.
Scandinavian Summer Soccer Leagues
- Sweden: March/April – November
- Norway: April – November
- Denmark: July – March (3 month break, November – January)
Unsurprisingly, many leagues that can be classed as a summer league are based in countries that have frankly horrendous winters.
Anywhere that regularly expects 6-feet snowdrifts and boasts a population that is best described as ‘hardy’ is well within its rights to have a soccer season end at a reasonable time of year.
Scandinavian leagues such as the Swedish Allsvenskan, which runs from March/April to early November is a prime example.
Sweden has long been a source of great soccer players, players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic to name but one, and is definitely a league to enjoy. Many of the leagues’ top prospects invariably head towards Europe to play, possibly for the warmer weather.
Norway, another Scandinavian country, also has its top league run from April to November. The Eliteserien this year was postponed until May due to Covid restrictions, but will also be ending before the weather becomes too restrictive.
Denmark too, another northerly nation, has always had a superb league system, developing world-class players for decades.
The Superliga season in Denmark began in early July, but unlike its Scandinavian counterparts, rather than ending in November, takes a break for three months.
The league breaks from the last weekend in November and returns at the end of February to continue the season until its conclusion at the end of March.
Winter Soccer In European Leagues
- Germany: August – May
- Italy: August – May
- Spain: August – May
- France: August – May
Italy, home to some of the best teams around, has a season that runs from late August, and apart from a small winter break of 16 days (December 22-January 7) will finish in late May.
With many Italian games played on a Sunday, a well-prepared fan can watch the Premier League on Saturday, catch a Serie A game on Sunday morning, and be ready for a Spanish la Liga game on a Sunday evening.
The German Soccer leagues, including the Bundesliga and subsequent leagues, all start in August, with the season closing in the following May.
German leagues start slightly earlier than the British leagues, as they have a six-week break throughout the winter period, However, this rest period does seem to re-energize the players.
Bayern Munich often hit the ground running after a winter break and usually steam away with the Bundesliga title.
France, another quality league in European competition, begins its league campaign around the 6th of August, and concludes around the 21st of May, assuming no additional restrictions are imposed.
Both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, as well as the national leagues, all expect to run from August until May of next year, with a winter break lasting 24 days.
From December 21st until January 14th, the French Leagues will stop, allowing the players a few weeks’ recuperation.
Winter Breaks Are Getting More Popular
Winter breaks are something more leagues are now introducing to avoid burnout and injury as teams fighting it out for European glory play even more games than usual.
Spain also has taken steps to introduce a winter break this season. With La Liga, and the Segunda Division starting in August and finishing in May, the league has reintroduced an 18-day break.
Apart from that small break, the Spanish season will allow fans to watch Real Madrid, Atletico, and Barcelona throughout the winter and summer months.
Bulgaria, while rarely top of most soccer fans’ list of leagues to watch, had a resurgence of spectators during the Covid Pandemic.
When most leagues had been completely locked down, the Bulgarian FA decided to continue with its leagues, although with a later start date than the expected June 2020.
By mid-August, the season was underway, and as fans tuned in, craving any soccer they could lay their eyes on, Bulgaria soon became the place to be.
Unknown players and managers alike were suddenly being watched online, in almost completely empty stadiums, with every shout and kick off the ball amplified by the echo of desolate stadiums.
It is safe to say that wherever you are in the world, with just a little perseverance, you will be able to watch soccer without worrying about missing a game.
Hopefully, the league start dates we have provided above will give you the curiosity to delve deeper into these leagues, the quality of players on the show is great.
And you know the start dates, you’ll be able to watch while you’re eating breakfast, or just before you go to bed, the choice is yours.