How Kylian Mbappe and other stars could go the entire summer WITHOUT a break as Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games take centre stage before instant return of domestic campaigns
- Kylian Mbappe wishes to compete for France at Euro 2020 and at the Olympics
- But in doing so the France star could go entire summer without a break
- Euro 2020 gets underway two weeks after Champions League final
- Many domestic seasons in Europe kick-off on same weekend as gold medal final
- France, Germany, Spain and Romania may have to juggle squads this summer
For many players a hard fought season will end in the middle of May and they can head off into the summer relaxed knowing they won’t have to kick a ball in anger again for just under three months.
Of course pre-season ensures it won’t all be putting your feet up on a private beach in that time but they will certainly have it easier than a select few young European stars who will be in high demand across the summer.
It will be a busy few months for football, with Euro 2020 and all its preparations immediately taking the focus once the domestic campaigns end. But this year the European Championship will also be followed by the Olympics in Tokyo.
The main event on the football calendar this summer is the European Championship
The Euros will get underway two weeks after the Champions League final in Istanbul
As well as the Euros, France, Germany and Spain have all qualified for the Games which will feature squads of youngsters born in 1997 or later plus three over age players.
Romania could book a place at Euro 2020 if they win March play-offs against Iceland and Bulgaria or Hungary, but they too have qualified for the Olympics.
The gold medal final takes place around the start of the 2020-21 domestic seasons, and across four nations there are players who are in danger of going through the entire summer without a break.
While the Olympic teams can still feature three players over the age of 23, the squads have yet to be picked.
Either way there are already some highly rated stars around who could head into the summer with goals on becoming European champions and Olympic gold medallists as apposed to relaxing with a pina colada on a pedalo for a few weeks.
The Olympic football tournament follows just 11 days after the conclusion of Euro 2020
Perhaps the biggest casualties come from France, who with Kylian Mbappe have a star involved in a club vs country row.
Having already won the World Cup, Mbappe will now be keen to add the European Championship to his CV as a key member of Didier Deschamps’ team.
However, the Paris Saint-Germain forward is also eligible for the Olympics and has pledged a desire to travel to Tokyo.
From the end of the current season to the start of the next, Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe could go the entire summer without a break
Mbappe will be key to France at Euro 2020 and also wants to feature at the Olympics in Tokyo
From PSG’s perspective they will not want one of their star forwards playing continuously throughout the summer and from their perspective you can understand why when you look at Mbappe’s potential schedule.
The French top flight ends on May 23, but should PSG make the Champions League final then Mbappe’s commitments with his club will extend to May 30 for the Istanbul showdown.
From there, preparation immediately begins for Euro 2020 with France’s first warm up game coming just over a week later against Croatia before they get their campaign underway on June 16 against Germany.
As world champions, there is a fair chance Les Bleus could go all the way to the Wembley final on July 12 which takes place just 11 days before the Olympic football tournament kicks off.
Dayot Upamecano (left) and Matteo Guendouzi could also feature in both for France
Should a very talented French squad reach the gold medal final on August 8, it will coincide with the return of domestic football, with the 2020-21 Ligue Un campaign getting underway on the same day.
A couple of other French stars have similar problems, including Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi. He is still in Premier League action up until May 17, while the 2020-21 top flight campaign in England also gets underway on August 8.
A third potential Olympic star in the highly rated RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano has slightly more wiggle room. Leipzig’s campaign is unlikely to end with a Champions League final and having not yet been capped at senior level he could just be saved for the Olympics.
Upamecano’s team-mate at Leipzig Dani Olmo may also be in a position where he can forget packing the swim shorts and flip-flops.
Fewer than three weeks separate the end of the Bundesliga and Spain’s first warm up game for Euro 2020 when they take on Portugal on June 5, with an opener against Sweden coming 10 days later.
Unlike Upamecano, Olmo has now been capped at senior level earning his solitary international appearance in the previous round of international matches back in November when he came off the bench to score against Malta.
The 21-year-old appears to be part of Spain’s future but Euro 2020 could come too soon and Luis Enrique may feel the attacking midfielder’s interests rely on concentrating solely for the Olympics.
RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo broke into the Spain squad towards the end of 2019
Unlike France, much of Germany’s stars set to compete at Euro 2020 feature players who can only feature as one of three designated over-23 players and as such are unlikely to make the Tokyo trip.
One exception comes in the form of Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz who having already earned seven caps is next in line to break into Joachim Low’s first team.
Another who also qualifies for both squads is Schalke’s Suat Serdar who has three caps.
Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz is one of Germany’s brightest young stars emerging
Schalke’s Suar Serdar shares a discussion with Germany boss Joachim Low
A problem for Germany is the Europa League final, which Leverkusen could still reach, is just four days before their Euro 2020 warm up match with Switzerland.
Havertz will likely not be expected to feature in the warm up contest though and even then, Leverkusen are outsiders to reach the final. Along with Serdar, whose Schalke side are not in Europe, their season is likely to end on May 16 and that comes exactly one month before Germany’s Euro 2020 opener against France.
Also favouring the German based players is the later start date for the 2020-21 Bundesliga campaign which with a kick off of August 21 gives players an extra two weeks off following the gold medal final. Not much but it’s better than nothing.
FOOTBALL SUMMER SCHEDULE
Club football end of season dates
May 16: Bundesliga
May 17: Premier League
May 17: Scottish Premiership
May 23: Ligue 1
May 27: Europa League final
May 30: Champions League final
Euro 2020 dates
May 31 – June 8: Warm up games
June 14 – 16: First Euro 2020 matches
July 12: Euro 2020 final
July 23: First Olympic group matches
August 8: Gold medal final
Club football new season start dates
August 1: Scottish Premiership
August 8: Premier League
August 8: Ligue 1
August 21: Bundesliga
The player who right now who has an ‘all or nothing’ summer ahead of him is Ianis Hagi, who could have anything from a summer of continuous football to as little as three matches in Japan.
But the Rangers star’s uncertainties stretch further, as he is only on loan at Ibrox. Despite shining for Steven Gerrard’s side there is no deal in place to remain there beyond the summer when he is due to return to parent club Genk.
With 10 caps since 2018 he would almost certainly feature in the Romania squad should they reach Euro 2020, but they will have to win two play-offs first to book their spot.
Ianis Hagi could make a permanent move to Rangers over the summer following a loan spell
Rangers’ season ends on May 17, or 10 days later should they reach the Europa League final. Regardless whether they qualify for their first major tournament in 20 years, Romania will take on England in a June 7 friendly.
Should Romania qualify, their first game would come a week later against Austria. Whether Romania head for an early exit or reach the latter stages, the rare opportunity of also taking part in an Olympic campaign might be too tempting to turn down for the forward who is the son of the legendary Gheorghe Hagi.
This will be Romania’s first Olympic Games since 1964 – also held in Tokyo – and the once in a lifetime opportunity to grab gold may be something the 21-year-old does not want to pass up.
Rangers though, should they act on their option to buy, could be set to miss out most. If Hagi features at the Olympics, he will likely play in all three group games which all come within a week before the start of the 2020-21 Scottish Premiership season.
But the son of the legendary Gheorghe Hagi could be set for a busy summer with Romania
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