Winter breaks across top European leagues: How long each stops in 2021-22

The Premier League has a tradition of ramping up right around the end-of-year holidays and finishing off the calendar year with a bang. But some of the other major European leagues take a break through the holiday season, only resuming in January.

For the most part, those leagues break just before Dec. 25, with Ligue 1, La Liga, Serie A, and the Bundesliga all resuming in January. The Bundesliga, Ligue 1, and Serie A all pause for a significant amount of time, all returning about a week after the turn of the new year.

La Liga returns sooner, back in play between Dec. 31-Jan. 2, but skipping New Year’s Day. Every top-tier Spanish team except for two will be playing on Sunday, Jan. 2 with Valencia vs. Espanyol occupying a standalone window on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.

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Winter breaks across top European leagues

Below are all the winter breaks for each top five European leagues in the 2021-22 season.

Country League Last matchday before break First matchday after break
England Premier League Monday, Jan. 3, 2021 Friday, Jan. 14, 2022
France Ligue 1 Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021 Friday, Jan. 7, 2022
Germany Bundesliga Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021 Friday, Jan. 7, 2022
Italy Serie A Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021 Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022
Spain La Liga Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021 Friday, Dec. 31, 2021*

*Most La Liga teams play Jan. 2, but Valencia faces Espanyol on December 31.

Does the Premier League have a winter break?

Teams in the Premier League may be busy with most playing three matches in the week between Boxing Day (Dec. 26) and New Year’s Day, but it does take a slight breather after the holiday action.

In early January English clubs will generally get 11 days between league matches. However, they will still have competitive obligations during this time, as the FA Cup third round has matches scheduled for Jan. 7-10. Several teams will likely opt to play their reserve players or younger talent in the early rounds of this cup competition depending on the level of the opponent.

Like the FA Cup, other domestic knockout cup competitions typically take centerstage around Europe in January. In addition to the FA Cup in England, the next round of Copa del Rey matches in Spain are scheduled for Jan. 4-5. The French Coupe de France will play the Round of 32 between Jan. 1-4 and the Italian Coppa Italia kicks off its Round of 16 on Jan. 12. Germany’s DFB-Pokal Cup is back on Jan. 18-19.

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There are also a couple of Super Cup competitions to keep an eye on in January: The Spanish Supercopa is scheduled for January 12-16 in Saudi Arabia and will feature the top two teams from the previous seasons and the finalists from the Copa del Rey. The Italian Super Cup between the league and cup winners sees Inter Milan taking on Juventus on Jan. 12.