After 26 years of being invested solely in American professional sports, I recently decided to take a heavy interest in European soccer. It’s been great. I’ve gotten some fresh PSGxJordan gear, I’ve learned a lot about the beautiful game, and I’ve had Angel Di Maria’s Champions League antics put a lot of stress on some of my friendships.
Last season was great even though it ended earlier than expected (on some bullshit), and when it ended, I was looking forward to tuning out soccer for a few months until the new season starts. As a fan of American sports, I assumed the offseason would be fairly quiet, but soccer isn’t an American sport and I found out almost immediately that the offseason is just as stressful as the regular season.
Soccer’s offseason, commonly referred to as the Summer Transfer Window, is absolute madness. There are zero rules. Literally any player can up and decide they want to leave to a new team with little prior notice. Contracts? Fuck a contract. For the right price, anyone can be bought, and if a player is dead set on leaving a club, it makes sense to ship the nuisance away for a bag. The big teams like Barcelona, Manchester City, and Juventus seem to have an endless supply of cash, making very few players in European soccer untouchable, which makes predicting the landscape for the upcoming European season impossible.
On top of all that, the rumor mill is unrelenting chaos. In American sports, when it comes to trade rumors, there’s usually a lot of smoke which always leads to the fire. But in the case of the Summer Transfer Window, there is so much smoke that it’s impossible to see where the fire is coming from.
According to reports, Neymar has officially inked his return to Barcelona about four times since June, yet somehow he was in Paris last week practicing with his PSG teammates. Matthjis de Ligt and Frenkie De Jong were both apparently heading to Paris a few months back, but as of today, one is enjoying preseason with Barcelona while the other chose to swap in his Ajax kit for those swagless black and white cookie jerseys in Turin.
It seems like there are ten conflicting stories that come out about a single player every day, making it futile to even guess which “report” is fact-based. This makes it impossible to stay up-to-date on the status of your favorite players.
This is all really fucks with my trust issues.
As a PSG fan, the Neymar circus has been a nightmare. One day he’s going to Barcelona, the next day he’s staying put at PSG. On top of the uncertainty, I have to deal with his antics, too. Like him revealing that his best soccer memory was beating PSG 6-1 back in 2017, or posting a video of himself playing soccer tennis in Brazil while he’s supposed to be in Paris with his teammates for preseason.
Shit like that just makes it even harder to comprehend exactly what the fuck is going on. It’s exhausting.
As thrilling as the summer transfer window has been these past few months, I think I’ve had my fill. All the uncertainty is killing me.
And I thought Champions League games were stressful…