The 2024 football calendar promises to be full of excitement, surprises and important moments. Football fans around the world eagerly await stories of the sport’s most popular game. As we enter the new year, they want to hear about on- and off-field drama, takeovers and transfers to new competitions and league rivals.
Once again, international football dominated the calendar. It’s been a year since Qatar hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The country is returning to the global stage as the host of the 2022 Asian Cup. The host country faced a last-minute coaching change. Marquez Lopez replaced Carlos Queiroz in December but the Maroons will be confident of winning the title in 2019.
Middle East football expert Mena Aalhy expects the home team to go forward again, having added many young players who pump new blood into the team.
“They’ve done a great job hosting the World Cup. Their fans have been really great behind the team every time. So I think it’s going to be a great experience for the team and the fans. I saw us as a team win in 2019. They were absolutely incredible. It was a great competition for them, they’re in the right rhythm and have the right energy and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they handle the competition.
The Africa Cup of Nations starts at the same time in Africa. The tournament, which has a format similar to the Asian Cup, will be held in Ivory Coast. The West African country waited an extra three years to host AFCON and was first awarded the competition in 2021. The league is planned to increase from eight to 24 teams next season. Matches will be held across the country in 2024 in places such as Abidjan, Bouake, Korhogo, San Pedro and Yamoussukoro.
African football expert Maher Mahzi believes there is one particular player fans should look out for in this year’s tournament.
“There are a handful of superstars who have made a name for themselves in African football in the last decade. Of course there is Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, former team-mates of Liverpool and Riyad Mahrez. But this time, it is the new generation of players that we are looking forward to watching. Most importantly Napoli’s star striker “Victor Osimhen. He missed the previous AFCON because he broke his nose and that’s why he’s wearing a mask now. But this time I really want him to play for Nigeria.” Maher Mahzi explained.
Meanwhile, Europe’s premier international tournament takes place in the summer. Germany will be the host of the 2024 European Championship. The last time the country hosted a major tournament was the FIFA 2006 World Cup. German football expert Chris Williams tells Football Now that fans visiting Germany will not be disappointed.
“It’s a great place to watch football and it’s also a very friendly place. The Germans are excited to welcome the whole of Europe back to the Euro. The infrastructure of the stadiums has been greatly improved. There are just a lot of old stadiums. There are now traditional stadiums. Most of them are “Newly built but they haven’t lost their soul.” Chris says.
The biggest international competitions of 2024 will be completed with the Copa America, which will be held in the USA. The country will use the tournament as a springboard to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Argentina will look to build on their World Cup winning momentum on the field. La Albiceleste are the defending champions and have the opportunity to become the first team on the continent to win twice in a row, including the World Cup in between.
In addition to men’s football, women’s football continues to grow. Great progress has been made in wages. Keira Walsh currently holds the record with a €500,000 transfer from Manchester United to Barcelona. Teammate and goalkeeper Mary Earps has been linked with leaving the club in a deal that would likely eclipse the previous record. As the sport progresses, we may also witness the 1 million Euro limit being exceeded in women’s matches throughout the season.
With international and local competitions dotting the sports calendar and record-breaking transfer potential, 2024 is likely to be even more fascinating than previous years.