# anticipation
11 reasons why pre-season football is worth the hassle
Featuring the Real Madrid lads playing hurling and Lionel Messi at his masterful best.

1. You occasionally get surreal fixtures such as Real Madrid v Shamrock Rovers

(INPHO/James Crombie)

(INPHO/James Crombie)

2. And word class athletes get the chance to embrace previously unfamiliar cultures

(INPHO/James Crombie)

3. Your favourite Irish players will be in action

YouTube credit: Theflygames

4. Lionel Messi doesn’t do ‘pre-season’

YouTube credit: LeoMessiFootball

5. Some of the goals can be pretty spectacular

YouTube credit: GarthKnight

6. And there are occasional moments of unintentional comedy

YouTube credit: GoalzHD

7. It’s usually around the time when clubs realise they’ve signed an outright flop

(Then-Liverpool player Sean Dundee ahead of their game with St Patrick’s Athletic – Tom Honan/EMPICS Sport)

8. Goalkeepers can get a bit carried away with themselves

YouTube credit: E17GuNneR

9. It effectively doubles up as a holiday for players

(KIN CHEUNG/AP/Press Association Images)

10. It’s a rare chance for foreign fans to see their heroes in the flesh

(KIN CHEUNG/AP/Press Association Images)

11. And if their heroes don’t come, they can always settle for James Beattie

(SAKCHAI LALIT/AP/Press Association Images)

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