Help me find a professional soccer game to watch while I'm in Europe?
August 18, 2014 8:45 PM   Subscribe

I will be in Europe with my SO From Aug 31 to Sep 5 we will be in Munich, then we plan to go to France, and Italy between Sep 5 and Sep 13 when we depart. We are willing to travel to any nearby country, we would like to see a top level professional soccer match. Any googling I did resulted in no matches being played in that time in those areas, am I missing something?
posted by crawltopslow to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Unfortunately your main problem is that international matches are being played in those weeks, so there are no high-level club games. There are a couple of Bundesliga games on 31 August (in Mainz and Freiberg), but then top-level club football stops until the 12 September. Lower-level teams may still play, so that's one option (in England, teams at the 3rd level and below will be playing).

Alternatively, you could go to an international match. Some suggestions: Germany v Argentina (friendly, 3 Sept); France v Spain (friendly, 4 Sept); Germany v Scotland (7 Sept, Euro 2016 qualifier); Switzerland v England (Euro 2016 qualifier; 8 Sept).

I use Fixtures365 for top-level games, but it won't give you 2nd level or lower games outside of England. If you can tell us what cities in France and Italy you'll be in, I can maybe dig around and see what other games are on.
posted by Pink Frost at 9:18 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Munich's second best team, 1860 München, are at home the afternoon of August 31. Not Champions League/Bayern level, but a better standard than anything you'll see in the MLS, and tickets should be available and cheap (which is not generally true of Bayern tickets). They play in the same stadium as Bayern.

There is then a break in European club football early in September to accommodate international games, which is why your Googling is not working. Your options in Germany, France and Italy are: Germany vs. Argentina, Germany vs. Scotland, Italy vs. the Netherlands, France vs. Spain. All of these are exhibition friendlies except Germany vs. Scotland. See the FIFA website for the full list. Tickets may be hard to come by. Fair warning: the exhibition friendlies are taken even less seriously than the Confederations Cup by most European fans (which is saying something). But seeing the World Cup Champions play Argentina is something to tell the grand kids, if you can get tickets. Failing that, the Germany vs. Scotland game is competitive (qualification points for the next European championships), and will be a more entertaining game than it may sound on paper.
posted by caek at 9:19 PM on August 18, 2014

Response by poster: Plan to be in Paris, and Venice. The only international game that seems to work would be England vs switzerland on Sep 8.
posted by crawltopslow at 9:26 PM on August 18, 2014

Venezia is sufficiently low down in the Italian pyramid (third tier) that you could probably see a match there: it's very much not going to be top-level, but it's going to be a professional match, in Venice (vs Südtirol on the 9th) at a stadium that the away fans have to reach by boat.

I honestly wouldn't go to an England international, even a Euro 2016 qualifier, unless you really really want to be able to say that you went to Wembley Stadium and it was a bit shit.
posted by holgate at 9:59 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, I got my home and away mixed up: the Switzerland-England match is in Basel, which I've heard is not a bad ground, and definitely better than a trip to Wembley. Here's a link to tickets, but at CHF 80 (around $90) the cheapest tickets are not cheap.

I'd still be inclined to pick the Venezia match, because there's something endearing about going to Venice and spending an evening at the footy with a thousand diehard fans.
posted by holgate at 11:10 AM on August 19, 2014

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