Coronavirus isolation: What players like Pogba, Zlatan and Pulisic are doing

With almost all football postponed for the next month because of the coronavirus, star players have found themselves at a loose end.

JUMP TO: #StayAtHomeChallenge takes off

With many training grounds off limits, clubs have sent footballers home, where they're adhering to an isolation period for the next few weeks on their personal schedules. How are they passing the time, though?

ESPN will be keeping a daily eye on what the world's best are getting up to, as well as how clubs are keeping busy by battling in online competitions against each other.

Paul Pogba

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba donned a Blaise Matuidi Juventus shirt, in a show of solidarity for his friend who has tested positive for the virus, while showing off his new self-isolation home training facility, the "PP Arena."

The France World Cup winner even invited club teammate Victor Lindelof along to sample the activities on offer.

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🇬🇧 Supporting our Juventus and Sampdoria friends @blaisematuidiofficiel, @albinekdal and all athletes and people around the world who are facing this difficult moment.⠀ ⠀ Be strong, #StayAtHome and be safe 💪🏾!⠀⠀ ⠀ New training camp is called ...⠀⠀ Quarantine PP Arena, open 24/7! 🏋🏾‍♂⠀⠀ Having fun working at home 🏠 with my brother @victorlindelof!⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ (I know the cheeky ones will talk about the Juventus jersey 😏 I'm just supporting my friends ... that's all, nothing more 😁).⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 🇮🇹 A sostegno degli amici di Juventus e Sampdoria @blaisematuidiofficiel e @albinekdal e di tutti gli atleti e le persone del mondo⠀ ⠀ Siate forti, #StayAtHome e fate attenzione 💪🏾⠀ ⠀ Il nuovo campo di allenamento si chiama... ⠀ Quarantena PP Arena, aperto 24 ore su 24 🏋🏾‍♀⠀ Mi diverto ad allenarmi a casa 🏠 con il mio amico @victorlindelof!⠀ ⠀ (So che qualche malizioso parlerà del fatto che indosso la maglia della Juventus 😏, ma lo faccio solo per dare un segno di supporto al mio amico, non c'è nessun'altra ragione 😁).

A post shared by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba) on

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic used his social media platform to spread a message of hope, asking people around the world to look after each other and contribute to his Gofundme page to raise much needed cash for Italian hospitals.

Felipe Melo

Notorious Brazil hardman Felipe Melo, who now plays for Palmeiras, revealed his own personal twist on the #StayAtHomeChallenge (see below) by giving one of his customary two-footed welcomes to a poor, unsuspecting toilet roll.

Christian Pulisic

United States and Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic used his downtime to join TikTok, arriving on the video-sharing app with a bang -- and a crash, and a wallop.


Unable to entertain the crowd at his beloved Emirates lair, the Arsenal mascot decided to tend to his herbaceous borders instead.

Jerome Boateng

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng decided to pass some time by conducting an "Ask me anything" Q&A Twitter session.

Among other things, the German star revealed that he's missing football, before sticking up for himself after being harangued about the time Lionel Messi turned him inside-out in 2015.

Jose Gimenez

Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez debuted a daring new 'do on social media, revealing that he'd voluntarily shaved off all his hair after just four days at home.

Javier Zanetti

The Inter Milan legend opted for a one-on-one (and rather picturesque) training session with his 10-year-old son Tomas.

Dusan Tadic

Ajax winger Dusan Tadic enjoyed spending some bonus time with his family as he took to the backyard for a kickaround with his kids.

Sergio Reguilon

With social distancing in full effect, Sevilla defender Sergio Reguilon impressed us with his improvisation skills while enjoying a game of badminton with his next-door neighbours.


We can't say for certain who Richarlison counts as his footballing idol, but we think we could offer a fairly accurate guess, especially if his latest Instagram post is anything to go by.

The Everton winger debuted a brand new haircut on his Insta stories this week, which takes direct inspiration from the radical "half-shave" sported by Brazilian legend Ronaldo at the 2002 World Cup.

Richarlison also uploaded a few videos of him further imitating Ronaldo in his back garden, juggling footballs and walloping them into the goal.

Speaking in 2018, Ronaldo revealed that his eccentric cut was a deliberate ploy to distract the media from the fact that he was out of shape. The misdirection worked as Brazil went on to lift the trophy out in Japan, with Ronaldo scoring both goals in a 2-0 win over Germany in the final.

#StayAtHomeChallenge takes off

Many footballers have been taking part in the #StayAtHomeChallenge -- which basically involves playing keepy-uppies with a roll of toilet paper.

One of the first prominent names to heed the call was former Man City winger Martin Petrov, who then laid down the gauntlet to former Bulgaria cohorts Dimitar Berbatov and Stiliyan Petrov.

Bruno Fernandes was one of the first active players to accept the challenge, with the Premier League's newly crowned Player of the Month demonstrating his prowess in the middle of his living room.

Shkodran Mustafi put a more hygienic spin on things by washing his hands for 20 seconds while juggling a miniature ball.

Not to be outdone, one of Arsenal's famed Invincibles got in on the act, with Lauren matching Mustafi stride for stride.

Everton's Theo Walcott did likewise, though subbed out the ball in favour of a small, blue, furry alien.

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka did the handwash variant of the challenge, all set to a thumping trace beat.

Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy (wearing a Dimitri Payet shirt in honour of his France teammate) filed an attempt from his kitchen before challenging Paul Pogba to follow it up.

There were also a couple of entrants from MLS, with Sergio Santos, the Brazilian striker for the Philadelphia Union, one of the first to step up.

We were also treated to a slightly scrappy but nonetheless informative display from Kei Kamara of the Colorado Rapids.

RB Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg expanded the challenge to include tidying up his living room by kicking his kid's toys into a small wicker elephant.

Former Norwich City target man Grant Holt's domestic task wasn't quite as dynamic.

Chelsea prodigy Billy Gilmour showed control and maturity beyond his years by taking up the #StayAtHomeChallenge in the privacy of his bathroom.

Essam El-Hadary, Egypt's legendary goalkeeper -- at 45, the oldest player to feature at the World Cup finals -- was keen to try his hand, or feet, as the case may be.

As was Marseille's on-loan full-back Alvaro Gonzalez, whose effort was interrupted by a misplaced chair and an excitable dog.

Could this be the prestigious trophy that everybody is playing for?

Quite the honour, although of course the real prize is to stay safe and healthy out there.