The international break is one of the most hated moments for the average football fan. The national leagues and all the European competitions stop for two weeks in order to let international football take place, with what that means.
There are way more detractors (I include myself in that group) then the defenders of this stop, as in reality the international beak feels for the majority of the fans like if the entire football stopped. This way, we can really make ourselves the following question: What is the international break for?
The International break is meant for the national teams to hold camps for more than a week and play a series of official or friendly games so they can prepare themselves for the next international tournament, either a World Cup or the Euro.
It is not really much useful than that. Well, in fact, a few years back they came up with the Nations League, a competition that does not have any interest until the final four stage and whose champions are never remembered by anyone, as it happened with Portugal back in 2019.
The 80% of the games that are played in the international break do not have any transcendence. For the most part of the groups, which are mostly formed by six teams, there are two that stand out and that tend to battle for the first spot between each other, and then the rest are all knocked out.
It is strange for something unusual to happen, like the two knock outs of Italy from both the World Cup in Russia 2018 and Qatar in less than two months.
In Europe, at least, the product is not being sold the best possible way. Boring games where there is a clear favorite and where footballers play tired most of the time, due to the long distance that they have to travel and the trips that they have to make in a very short time.
Precisely, for this reason there are many injuries along the way during this international break that, far away from being a rest for the clubs, it certainly becomes an extra stress for them when their players are called up to represent their countries, as they expose themselves to unnecessary injuries.
Another important factor is that these international breaks cut the dynamics of the national leagues, as they are forced to stop once they have gotten used to the pace of the clubs competitions, either because they are called up for international duty or if they are not (for the most part of the players) and so they must stay with their teams just practicing because there are not any league games.
All in all, the national teams football is the most exciting one when the World Cup, the Euro or the Copa América take place… But sometimes it is too tedious and the only thing that it makes is to cut the pace of the national leagues.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: @SEFutbol.