The European club season and the Champions League are over (maybe some thoughts on those in another post), but football has far from shut down for the northern summer / southern winter, as now the international game takes centre stage.
There was a round of Euro 2012 qualifiers in June with another in September. Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands are already almost guaranteed qualification.
The UEFA U-21 European Championships have just concluded in Denmark, with a dominant Spain beating Switzerland 2-0 in the final, becoming first team to be World, European and European u-21 champions at the same time.
The CONCACAF Gold Cup (North American, Central American and Caribbean championship) has been played over the last couple of weeks. Predictably, the United States and Mexico have reached the final, to be played today.
The U-17 World Cup is being played at the moment in Mexico. After a 4-1 win over Uzbekistan in the opening game and a 0-1 loss to the Czech Republic, New Zealand have just played out a cagey 0-0 draw with the United States to go through to the last 16 for the second consecutive tournament. Unfortanately, in the second round they are likely to play Germany, who have scored 9 goals so far and must be one of the favourites for the whole tournament.
Next week, the Copa America (South American championship) begins in Argentina. Can the home team take its first senior trophy since 1993, to break the dominance of Brazil who have won four out of the past five tournament?
Finally, on 29 July the U-20 World Cup gets underway in Colombia. New Zealand is drawn in a tough group with Uruguay, Portugal and Cameroon. The 2015 U-20 World Cup will be held in New Zealand.