But now that most of the major European domestic leagues have kicked off their 2013-14 seasons, the biggest clubs and brightest stars are back to doing what they do best: winning games and making headlines for all the right reasons.
A host of managers and head coaches are in new places this season. Tata Martino, David Moyes and Jose Mourinho are just a few of the tacticians who enjoyed winning league debuts last weekend.
Isco, Carlos Tevez and Luis Gustavo made their first appearances for Real Madrid, Juventus and Wolfsburg respectively. Each announced themselves to new fans by helping their team win.
Meanwhile, U.S.-based Premier League fans are thanking NBC after its first weekend of coverage gave them a hefty serving of action from England’s top flight.
It’s fitting that players, coaches and fans would dominate this week’s list of biggest winners in the soccer world. After all, it is they who make the sport what it is.
Editor’s note: Soccer season is officially under way, and we’re celebrating it with a new, recurring series called “Biggest Winner” and “Biggest Loser”. Each week, we’ll look back at the previous week’s action (from Tuesday through Monday) and pick the biggest winners and losers. Soccer editor Marcus Kwesi O’Mard isn’t labeling anyone a “winner” or “loser.” Simply put, he thinks those who appear had a really good week or a really bad week. They appear in no particular order.
Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.