Euros UEFA Euro Cup 2024

The Euros are upon us after a dramatic soccer season for the Premier and Champions leagues

And let’s not forget about Canada vs. Argentina in the COPA América on June 20.

So summer has arrived in Montreal, Manchester City has triumphed for the fourth time and football has ended in Europe till June 14, when the Euros kick off in Germany.

The Premier League season came to an exhilarating end on the last day, with only one  point separating ManCity and Arsenal. ManCity started the season as one of the favorites, and lived up to expectations. Pep Guardiola’s side demonstrated exceptional consistency, tactical brilliance and sheer determination, making them deserving champions once again.

With a blend of experienced stars and emerging talents, City showcased a style of play that was both entertaining and effective. Key players like Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Ruben Dias were instrumental in the team’s success, providing the necessary spark in crucial moments.

The Euros are upon us after a dramatic soccer season for the Premier and Champions leagues

On the topic of the rising popularity of football (aka soccer) in North America, NBC drew a total audience of 2.12 million viewers for Manchester City-Arsenal in April, making  it the most-watched Premier League game ever in the U.S. It was the first Premier League match to surpass 2 million viewers, and this is just the start.

Soccer has never been more popular in North America — where the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be cohosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The MLS and the CPL have played a crucial role in the sport’s growth, with the leagues expanding, both in terms of the number of teams and the quality of play. In the MLS, high-profile signings from Europe and South America have raised the league’s profile, attracting more fans to stadiums and TV screens. Last month, Lionel Messi playing his first ever game in Canada during the Inter Miami win over CF Montréal showed just how popular he and the sport is in la belle province.

Youth participation in soccer has also skyrocketed, with millions of children taking up the sport. This grassroots development is essential for building a strong soccer culture and producing future stars who could potentially shine on the global stage.

Canada’s soccer boom is highlighted by the success of its national teams. The men’s national team has made significant strides, qualifying for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in decades. The Canadian Premier League (CPL) has provided a platform for local talent to showcase their skills, further fuelling interest in the sport.

Can’t wait to talk to you all about the Manager Merry-go-round happening right now in the sport.

Canada in the COPA América

Real Madrid had a remarkable season this year, culminating in their stunning victory in the Champions League final on June 1. Their journey throughout the season was characterized by tactical brilliance, and individual moments of magic.

In la Liga, Real Madrid faced big competition but managed to stay in contention for the title until the very end. Their home campaign was marked by crucial wins against key rivals and fantastic performances from their star players.

The Champions League, was where Real Madrid really acts the business. Their campaign began with a strong showing in the group stages. In the knockout stages, Real Madrid’s experience came into play. Key victories over Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and against Manchester City set the stage for the final.

In the Champions League final, Real Madrid faced off against a highly competitive opponent. The match was a tense affair, with both teams playing for the win. Real Madrid’s defence held firm against waves of attacks by Dortmund.

In the end, the winners were Real Madrid. This is the 15th Champions League title for the club, further cementing their status as the most successful team in the competition’s history.

Thanks for the memories, Don Carlo. ■

Listen to The 1st Half Culture Show podcast monthly on YouTube and The 1st Half radio show on TSN690AM Fridays at 6 p.m.

For more Montreal sports coverage, please visit our Sports section.