What are soccer friendlies? 7 Essential Games

Friendly soccer games are rare, but soccer friendlies are a regular part of the sporting calendar. They happen every year with the club teams and sometimes with the international teams. Soccer is a tough game and the name given for these games is obvious when you see the players at their most relaxed. 


What are soccer friendlies? Soccer friendlies allow teams to increase fitness to pro match level, integrate new players, tour the world and pay respect to long-serving players and coaches.

The soccer season finishes and breaks with no games to look forward to until you see your team matched up against another unexpected. Sometimes a friendly game can be against a team that is a lower division or a team from another country. 

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Soccer friendlies normally take place before the season begins for a club side. This friendly is to prepare them for the up and coming season. When a season is over after eight to nine months of playing once or twice a week, players build-up fatigue and the body needs a rest. 

During the offseason, players will take a break from their clubs and spend more time with their families. The players sometimes take a week off without any physical activity, so their bodies can re-charge.

Other players like to keep active and they will keep their body going by doing a small amount of cardiovascular work to maintain their level. Most professional players around the world will have a break from three to five weeks away from their club.  

What are soccer friendlies for?

We take a look at all the instances for when a soccer friendly is played, to find out what are soccer friendlies?


After a few weeks away, players relax and eat less of a strict diet than they would do if they are with their club every day. A few extra pounds of weight are added to the players and they need to work it off and tune their muscles back up to peak fitness. 

Training can get players fit, but to play like a professional soccer player, you need to be at the highest peak possible and this is only achieved by taking part in a real game. Players play friendly soccer matches against each other when they are training to try out or fine-tune their game. 

With a squad of over 22 players, 11 a-side friendly matches often happen in the weekly training schedule. It gives a chance for all squad members to take part and show the coach what they’ve got. It is also a chance for the youth players to get involved and raise their game against the more experienced players. 

Rest of the world vs England Friendly - What are soccer friendlies?
Rest of the world vs England Friendly -Courtesy of vagueonthehow

Friendlies for The New Season 

It is often noted how a team game is when there has just been a World Cup or some other international competition. The players don’t have enough time to rest and then get back to full fitness.

This can cause severe problems a the start of the season. A slow start will knock the player’s confidence and they can easily be on the losing side before they find the peak levels. 

That’s why friendlies are so important, it is great to get a few wins on the table to boost moral. For the first friendly match after coming back from the break.

The team will work on their fitness with the club for a few weeks and then face a friendly match. The first friendly match for the top team is against lower opposition, to gradually get back to normal. 

Teams will have anywhere from 4 to 8 friendly matches in the off-season. The last few friendly matches will be against opposition that is of a similar ability. Not only are friendly matches for fitness, but they are also important to work on new tactics and positions. 

Friendlies for New Players

Your club has just signed a new player and you are desperate to see them in action. The first opportunity to see them is a friendly match – how good are they? Where will they play? Are a couple of many questions we have when a new signing comes along. 

New players need time to adapt to the players around them. It will be a formation and system and friendly matches are key to gel the players together. There will be a standout player that won’t need any time at all, they will look like they have been part of the team for a year – that’s when you know you have a top player.  

Friendlies for Promotional Tours

The teams need to play friendly matches, so many clubs combine the need for a trip to a different country, to visit fans abroad and promote the club to the international market. It has become so common now that there are mini-tournaments around the world between the top teams. 

For the MLS it can cause disruption, as their season is not the same as the European teams. Every year teams want friendly matches while the MLS is mid-season and there is a break.

In the normal schedule to compete in these matches. It is welcomed by some who want to see their teams face the best competition, but it can also disrupt the rhythm of the season. 

Friendlies for Testimonials

When a player has played for a team for ten years and more, most clubs like to have a special match to celebrate their success and loyalty. Ten years at the top as a pro player deserves a good send-off. It gives the club a chance to thank their player and it gives the fans a chance to say their goodbyes. 

Friendlies for Charity Matches

A friendly soccer match can be organized to raise money for a good cause. Soccer has a role in society to be a good role modal and with the amount of money in the game, it is a way for them to give back to a deserving need.

Soccer Aid

Friendly matches don’t need to be just for teams. Soccer Aid is a great example of the good that can be done in soccer. Money is raised from these matches and given to UNICEF, which helps disadvantaged children from around the world. They have raised a total of 49 million dollars since they began! 

The teams that play in these matches are made-up of current players, retired players, and even icons from the big screen. These matches are truly friendly and there is joy in their game, with plenty of smiles.

Competitive matches are great to watch, but it is nice to see the players uniting for a good cause. 

Soccer Friendlies Overview

They are vital to the game of soccer, they help teams prepare for the up and coming season. It allows for new players to be introduced into the team and they can also raise vast amounts of monies for great causes. For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

What are international friendlies soccer? International friendlies give coaches a chance to try new systems and trial new players against international competition. Tweaks are made to the formation and team to prepare for competitive games.

Do soccer friendlies count? Friendlies don’t count towards points or trophies unless there is a special trophy for a friendly tournament. Goals scored by players for club friendlies are not regarded but they are counted for international players because there are numerous games.

Do friendlies count as caps? Caps for international games are registered for players but not so for club games.

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