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Big Week Of International Friendlies

I am not a big fan of this August international break. It seems really strange that with leagues across Europe kicking off this weekend, that players would be away all week on international duty.

But with World Cup qualifying beginning in September, this will be the last opportunities for teams to test out new players and formations before the important games begin.

In the CONCACAF region there are two massive games, Im Puerto Rico the defending European and World Champions Spain are in town while the Estadio Azteca will be rocking in Mexico City and the Mexico takes on the United States.

Over in Europe we have a repeat of the Euro 2012 quarter-final as Italy takes on England in Switzerland.

World Cup winners in 2000, France begin a new era under Didier Deschamps against Uruguay, who finished fourth in South Africa last time out.

Russia also begin life under a new coach following Dick Advocaat’s departure. The Dutch boss has been replaced by former AC Milan, Real Madrid CF, AS Roma, Juventus and England boss Fabio Capello. The Italian’s first fixture at the helm is a friendly against the Ivory Coast on Wednesday.

One of the up and coming young sides in European football is Belgium, and they have an interesting match with neighbours and rivals Holland. The Dutch crashed out of the Euros in spectacular style and it will be interesting to see if new Netherland’s coach Louis van Gaal can fix the dissension in the dressing room.

Two of South America’s footballing powers will also be playing in Europe this week. Brazil, who were shocked in the Olympics final by Mexico at the weekend, will try and bounce back from that devastating loss as they play Sweden.

And finally, maybe the best game of the week will take place in Germany as Joachim Löw’s side takes in Lionel Messi and Argentina.