Throughout the European close season, the rest of the world's major leagues have generated more than enough excitement to keep fans happy. And this weekend will be no exception, with Corinthians taking on Palmeiras in their derby, a new campaign beginning in Mexico and Korea Republic's top sides continuing their struggle for supremacy. FIFA.com previews the action.
Brasileirao: Paulista derby tops the bill
The latest round of midweek games left Atletico Mineiro as solitary leaders following Palmeiras's defeat by Goias. Celso Roth's frontrunners have now gone five games unbeaten but will have their resolve tested when the men from Goiania come visiting this weekend.
Fluminense, who slumped to defeat on Renato Gaucho's return to the helm, cross swords with fellow strugglers Cruzeiro in a vital relegation duel between two big names. Internacional, who lie four points off the top, travel to lowly Botafogo, while surprise package Barueri receive a visit from a Sao Paulo side that have fallen on hard times.
Big game: All eyes will be on the latest clássico between Ronaldo's Corinthians and Palmeiras. With 92 years of rivalry between them, who will come out on top this time?
Player to watch: Neymar gave Vanderlei Luxemburgo his first victory following a return to Santos in midweek with a stunning goal. The 17-year-old will be planning to repeat the feat against Flamengo, who sacked coach Cuca on Thursday.
Mexican Apertura: Under starter's orders
This weekend marks the start of the season, with a clutch of sides aiming to prevent Pumas from notching historic back-to-back title successes.
The campaign kicks off with Tecos taking on Pachuca at home, while reigning champs Pumas begin the defence of their crown with a trip to Ricardo La Volpe's Atlas. Two other intriguing meetings on the card are Cruz Azul-Jaguares and Toluca-Guadalajara.
Big game: Can America build on their excellent pre-season tour when they travel to San Luis?
Player to watch: With Toluca's Hector Mancilla serving a suspension, Monterrey forward Humberto Suazo will be in the spotlight on the opening day. Having just recovered from injury, the Chilean will be keen to open his goalscoring account against Indios Juarez.
American Major League Soccer: All change at the top?
Columbus Crew travel to Toronto FC in the knowledge that they could move top of the Eastern Conference if they collect three points. Guillermo Barros Schelotto's side lie third at the moment and will be hoping for slip-ups from leaders Chicago Fire and second-placed DC United, who are at home to faltering San Jose Earthquakes.
Meanwhile, David Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy will need to be wary when they play host to Kansas City Wizards.
Big game: Chicago entertain Seattle Sounders, who lie second in the Western Conference, in a match that will have a major impact on the top in both sections.
Player to watch: Cuauhtemoc Blanco hopped off the bench to great effect in Chicago's defeat of San Jose last Saturday. Can he repeat the trick against Seattle?
Korean K-League: Chonbuk set sights high
K-League leaders FC Seoul are not in action this weekend, giving closest challengers Chonbuk Motors the chance to replace them at the summit. The AFC Champions League 2006 winners will fancy their chances of doing just that when they welcome the inconsistent Ulsan Horang-i, who lie tenth.
Big game: Pohang Steelers have inched up to fourth and have the chance to climb even higher when they take on bottom club Daegu.
Player to watch: Chonbuk striker Lee Dong-Guk is the leading scorer in the competition with 14 goals, a tally he will be keen to add to as his side bid for first place.
In Japan, pacesetters Kashima Antlers have a nine-point cushion over Urawa Red Diamonds, a lead they should maintain when they face Kashiwa Reysol, who lie one place off the bottom.
The championship race in Côte d'Ivoire has reached an exciting stage, with second-placed Issia Wazi out to maintain their surprise title push when they visit the unpredictable Bassam, while tabletopping ASEC Mimosas face off against SOA, in seventh.
Cobreloa and Audax Italiano lead the way in Chile with maximum points from their opening two games. Cobreloa, who stand top on goal difference, are at home to a stuttering Universidad de Chile side, while Audax test their credentials against fourth-placed Palestino.