What is a Friendly in Soccer? Everything You Need to Know

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

What is a friendly in soccer? The beautiful game is full of terms that may be confusing for new fans and players. One of the most common terms that you will hear is “friendly.”

In this blog post I will explain everything you need to know about friendlies in soccer.

Friendly in Soccer

What are soccer friendlies?

In soccer, the term friendly is used to describe a match between two teams but not in an official or formal competition or tournament. Friendly matches are non-competitive and do not have any impact on league or tournament rankings.

Friendly games follow the same rules as competitive games and they may have slight differences depending on the schedule and league. Friendlies usually allow more than the regular five substitutions allowed per game.

Another difference may be what happens if there is a draw after regulation time. Some friendlies may end in a draw or go into extra time or penalty shootouts. Both men’s and women’s teams can have friendly matches.

The Different Types of Friendly Matches

In soccer there are different types of friendly matches including:

  • International friendlies: A friendly match between two countries
  • Club friendlies: A friendly match between two clubs
  • Testimonial matches: Matches honoring a player for their legacy and contribution to a club
  • Charity matches: Matches used to raise money or awareness for certain causes

What is the Purpose of Friendly Matches?

Although friendly matches don’t really mean anything at the end of the day, that does not mean they are useless. Friendly matches allow players to get more game time with their teams to prepare for the upcoming seasons as well as help the players stay in shape.

This is also the perfect time for new players to get used to playing with their new team and at their home stadium. Friendly games also allow coaches to try new tactics and player positions to better prepare for the seasons ahead.

Coaches can also use the highlights and key moments of the game to analyze and learn from. In addition, friendlies also allow fans to see players play in parts of the world they would not play in during the regular season games.

The Criticism Surrounding Soccer Friendlies

While often seen as a valuable tool for player development and tactical experimentation, soccer friendlies are not without their critics. The most common criticism? These matches need more real competitive spirit or significance since they don’t contribute to official records or rankings.

A second critique surrounding friendly matches involves the belief that more games lead to more injuries. Although these critiques have some validation, soccer friendlies are an important part of the game.

How to Watch Soccer Friendlies?

To watch soccer friendlies on TV it is best to use a reliable streaming service such as

A lot of soccer friendlies are played on Saturday, Sunday, or Tuesday but it is important to pay close attention to the schedules to make sure you have the right date and time.

Friendly in Soccer

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can you buy tickets to watch international friendlies?

You can buy tickets to watch international friendly games involving teams such as Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Egypt, Tunisia, and much more through various websites such as Seat Pick.

If you can’t watch friendlies live you can always watch them on your TV.

When are international friendlies?

Check out this article to find out more about the dates for the international breaks this season.

What happens if a friendly game does not end in a win?

If a friendly game does not end in a win, the game may go into extra time, penalties, or end in a tie.


In conclusion, soccer friendlies are an important part of the game that allows players to get more training before their season starts, coaches to try new tactics and formations, and fans to see different teams play.

In this blog, I covered all of the basics you need to know about soccer friendlies.

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