Pre-season is one of those times within the football calendar that can be considered one of the most unpopular moments a season can provide.
Indeed, many would argue that the pre-season schedule is just as worse as the international break that takes place during the winter and spring parts of the season as the international teams look to qualify for the major competitions they are trying to compete in.
However, it is something that is crucial that needs to be done at the beginning of the campaign, as it is a way in which players will be able to get minutes into their legs and be ready for the upcoming campaign. The same can be said when looking for the best real money casinos, as playing at a couple before finding the top one can be something no one wants to do but has to in order to achieve the desired outcome.
On the flip side, though, pre-season friendlies will also provide football teams and fans with an opportunity to play against a club that they may have only dreamed about playing against and it probably will not in their lifetime.
GiveMeSport have managed to compile a number of fixtures in which these strange, but interesting, scenarios have occurred, with some rather amazing games having been highlighted.
In 2006, Plymouth Argyle fans must have been rubbing their eyes and asking everyone to pinch them when they saw that they were playing Real Madrid in a friendly game. Of course, there is plenty to the story about how the fixture came, but it is still a game that happened.
1996 saw the Czech Republic warm-up for their epic Euro 96 tournament run with an emphatic pre-tournament friendly. However, whilst the result was a 9-1 victory in favour of the Czechs, it was not quite what it seemed, just as online gambling can be at times.
Czech Republic managed to oust Bamber Bridge in the game; a semi-professional team from Lancashire.
Juventus played Notts County in 2011 in a battle of the two sides with iconic black-and-white striped shirts as a way of repaying the English club – who are the world’s oldest football club – a debt that had been ongoing for over a century.
Barcelona vs Brazil, though, was a pre-season friendly that is one that would have only been possible to make happen on a video game such as FIFA, but it actually happened in 1999. As part of the Spanish side’s 100th birthday celebrations, a host of world-class players turned out for both sides in an epic game that finished 2-2.
Check out the rest of the unique, strange friendlies here.