Football is one of the most popular and widely played sports. It has more than 3 billion fans worldwide. Becoming a professional footballer is a dream job for many. Doing spot training, sitting together with the team, and working hard throughout the football season to help their teams win.
And don’t forget the hefty compensation they receive for making it to the team. But do they get any free time? Of course, football players get their leisure time just like other sports players. During the off-season, they would like to spend time on activities other than training.
But how exactly do they spend their time off the pitch? Let’s find out:
Activities Footballers Like To Spend Their Time On
1. Playing Online Casino Games – Especially Card Games!
Believe it or not, football players love playing online casino games, especially online blackjack with live dealer. The fairly simple game makes it easier for players to understand the rules and how to win.
Football players prefer card games as these games put their skills to the test, allowing their minds to devise strategies to win the games. Add in the sheer excitement of placing a well-calculated wager and scoring a great hand of cards – this is what the players run after.
Some of the most famous football players, including Gerard Pique, play casino games. Everyone knows how much he loves poker. But why are card games so popular among football players? These card games have similarities to the sport itself.
For example, a player must assess risk, adapt to every situation, and make well-thought-out decisions to win the game. So, developing great skills at card games will help footballers during the game as well.
Yes, golf is among the favorite pastime and hobbies of footballers while off the pitch. For instance, Gareth Bale loves spending time in Spain golfing. But he isn’t the only one.
Other former players, including Julian Dicks, Jimmy Bullard, and Andriy Schevchenko, played golf during their careers and even after. And if you see other sports, most of them prefer spending quality off-time on a golf pitch.
3. Video Games
This is an obvious pastime. Footballers are (for lack of a better language) obsessed with playing video games. From hours long sessions on PS5 to Xbox, they simply love spending time on gaming consoles.
You must be wondering what kind of games they prefer. Well, the answer is obvious – their first choice is FIFA. The most famous case of gaming obsession by a football was a few years back. Ousmane Dembele dared to skip the training session at Barcelona after gaming all night.
Players of Arsenal, Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil, also love spending time on Fortnite. They regularly stream their live gaming sessions for fans. Julian Draxler and Ozil went as far as arranging a charity event for Big Shoe.
Other famous players who loved spending time on video games include Marcus Rashford, Antoine Griezmann, and the Italian legend Andrea Pirlo. In his biography, Pirlo went as far as claiming the Playstation to be the best invention after cars.
Professional footballers get bashed a lot for being handsomely paid and not doing anything to return to the community. But that is not the case. Numerous footballers spend several hours in community work during their off time.
For example, Andy Robertson. The Scottish player loves spending most of his time in community work, where he helps the locals with food banks and other projects. Take James McClean, who once paid for a group of homeless people to stay at a hotel until they could get back on their feet. A plus point – all the meals during that stay were also paid for.
An exceptional example is Angel Rangel (from Swansea), who used to drive around at night throughout the city with food packages to give to homeless people. Meanwhile, other pros have courteously offered all the proceeds of their testimonials to different charities.
Footballers get a lot of backlash for living a luxurious life with multiple sports cars and designer watches. But people often forget that they EARNED all this. They put in thousands of hours of hard work to get where they are. This doesn’t mean that they don’t help the less fortunate.
5. Staying Fit
Footballers don’t have a simple workout routine. All those bulging muscles require a vigorous workout. It shouldn’t be surprising that most footballers like including a workout session into their daily routine, even during off-time.
But this makes sense as they need to stay fit and in shape to endure the rigorous training routines during an active football season. Although the workout routine off-season is light, it keeps their mind and body active and prepares them for what’s to come.
While football players do get to visit new destinations every season, they don’t get enough free time to properly enjoy them. They may sneak out a few times while waiting for the next game, but that isn’t enough.
That’s why most footballers love revisiting cities they had traveled to during on-season. With free time on hand, they can explore these beautiful lands and enjoy their free time with friends or family peacefully.
Music is a natural hobby or pastime that everyone loves. Whether you are working on your laptop or working out in a gym, music sets the mood right. Football players love listening to music while practicing and working out.
Just not listening; these pro players love playing instruments as well. Players who play instruments find themselves re-energized and calm. So, don’t be astonished when you see a pro footballer playing a flute or guitar.
Like other residents, footballers love spending their free time on activities they thoroughly enjoy. They want to live their lives to the fullest – as everyone does. From listening to music to playing blackjack, footballers have various interests outside the field. So, if you know a footballer in your circle, get along with them by participating in their hobbies.