Given both the quality and quantity of top-class football on offer, the first half of 2013 will be hard to top for many fans across the globe. From Brazil's triumph on home soil at the FIFA Confederations Cup, to Bayern Munich's remarkable treble and France's success at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013, the most prestigious youth tournament in the world, there were no shortage of unforgettable highlights.
Yet any thoughts of the footballing calendar running out of steam in the second half of the year are wide of the mark.
Kick-off is fast approaching in Europe's top leagues and the spotlight will inevitably fall on several high-profile coaches attempting to make their presence felt at new clubs, with Gerardo Martino at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, Laurent Blanc at Paris Saint-Germain and David Moyes at Manchester United chief among them. The progress of some of the summer's biggest transfers, such as Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani and Mario Gotze, will also be fascinating to observe.
Three titles coming up
Even before a ball rolls in France, England, Spain, Italy and Germany, a trio of titles will be awarded in the coming days. On Wednesday, Olimpia Asuncion (Paraguay) and Atletico Mineiro (Brazil) will battle for the Copa Libertadores crown in South America, with the Paraguayans boasting a 2-0 advantage from the first leg at home. At the weekend, the title deciders will be played both at the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the UEFA Women's EURO 2013.
From there the action leaps to Tahiti, where the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 will be held between 18 and 28 September. The islanders' maiden turn at hosting a FIFA tournament comes hot on the heels of their encouraging performances at the Festival of Champions in Brazil.
"I’m convinced the organisation of the Beach Soccer World Cup will have a general impact on the economy, tourism and sports of our country," said Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta. "A wide variety of activities, such as coaching and referee seminars, as well as football courses at schools will be implemented in the coming months, thus multiplying the benefits of the event.”
One of the most eagerly-awaited dates in any football fan's diary arrives on 6 December, when the draw for the Brazil 2014 group stages will be made in Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), allowing the 32 participating teams to begin their preparations in earnest ahead of the global showdown.
There is one final treat on offer before the majority of the football world winds down for a Christmas break. The FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013 will round off the year in style as seven teams vie for the honour of calling themselves the best on the planet.
2014 also promises a feast for fans everywhere. The FIFA World Cup in Brazil will be the highlight of the year, while the FIFA U-17 and U-20 Women's World Cups are sure to linger long in the memory too. With such a jam-packed schedule in the coming months, even the largest of footballing appetites will be satisfied.