With both Euro 2020 and the Copa America now done and dusted, and the recall to preseason training not upon us quite yet, professional footballers all around the world have seized the opportunity to get away for a week or two of rest and relaxation.
Those players who were involved in the tournaments in Europe and South America have had to wait a little while for their chance to hit the beach. Italy's players are off celebrating becoming European champions, while England's players are trying their best to forget how close they came to glory in the final at Wembley. Lionel Messi is among the Argentina stars taking a vacation after ending that nation's 28-year wait to be kings of CONMEBOL once more.
Players who were in action this summer but didn't make it all the way have at least been able to jet off with their families and friends sooner, while other top stars have had their whole summer free to go in search of a well-earned break.
Here's how the game's biggest stars have been taking it easy this summer.
The Italy squad are still celebrating in the wake of their immense performance at Euro 2020, beating England on penalties in a tense and exhausting final. Defying their advancing years, veteran defensive pair Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini have been attacking the summer with youthful vigour. The grizzled centre-backs took the trophy to bed after the final, promising Azzurri fans they would protect it while the entire nation slept off the night before. The Juventus duo then kept the schtick going, gleefully tucking into a shared plate of pasta while on vacation together.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma wasted little time completing his post-final transfer to Paris Saint-Germain before setting out for a well-earned break in the sun with his partner, Alessia.
Immobile e insigne os maiores pic.twitter.com/ZyXtKemwBY— victor (@jtwmberlake) July 20, 2021
Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne flew out to Ibiza for a few days of recuperation in the Mediterranean sunshine, with the duo hiring a yacht and then merrily scooting around the coast on jet-skis together.
Having impressed with a string of match-turning performances at Euro 2020, Jorginho paraded the trophy around Rome before making a beeline for the beach, where he was met by Chelsea teammate Thiago Silva.
Marco Verratti is having quite the week:— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 16, 2021
Sunday: Wins the Euros 🏆
Thursday: Gets married 💍
(via k.mbappe/IG) pic.twitter.com/Q12mJipKmM
Fellow midfielder Marco Verratti ensured a double celebration by not only winning the European Championship but then getting married to partner Jessica in Paris just a few days later. The wedding was a typically star-studded affair, with PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe even providing several of the photos.
After suffering a heartbreaking defeat on home soil, the England squad still managed to celebrate their fantastic performance at the tournament with a group break to the Greek island of Mykonos. Several of the squad gathered for dinner at a restaurant, only to be serenaded once again by "Sweet Caroline," the song that has followed them throughout the summer. This time, Kyle Walker was on hand to lead the team in a(nother) rousing rendition of that trusty Neil Diamond classic.
Ben Chilwell and Jack Grealish were out there, too, with the pair posing for photos while looking like members of an unsuccessful 1990s boy band.
After both missing penalties in the shootout against Italy, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho decided to get away from it all with a holiday in Turks & Caicos. The new Manchester United teammates were seen bonding with a little sing-along aboard their private jet, accompanied by rapper Chibz.
Thank you for looking after us mate. Top man❤️👊🏼 https://t.co/gUpszdIrfS— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) July 18, 2021
Not content with merely playing basketball, Mason Mount and Declan Rice enjoyed a lively session shooting hoops on the stern deck of a luxury yacht.
Meanwhile, Dominic Calvert-Lewin was able to return to his favourite pastime -- swanning around in absolutely outstanding haute couture ensembles.
Lionel Messi also enjoyed success on the international front, claiming his first major honour with Argentina by beating Brazil in the final of the Copa America. After celebrating this momentous achievement with his Albiceleste teammates, the Barcelona star withdrew in order to spend some quality time with his family on holiday at an exclusive beachside villa in Miami. Messi has been causing something of a storm among the locals, regularly attracting groups of adoring fans to gather outside the various restaurants and cafes he has frequented during his stay in Key Biscayne. Thankfully, the crowds had thinned by the time the Messi family ventured out on a day trip to South Florida, as the whole gang posed for photos outside the guitar-shaped Hard Rock Hotel.
Messi is no stranger to tattoos, but his international teammate Angel Di Maria may have just outdone him by getting a huge bit of body art of the Copa America trophy on his thigh. Well, he did score the winning goal in the final, after all.
But it wasn't just the finalists who were enjoying some sun and sea in between seasons. With Portugal getting eliminated from Euro 2020 at the round of 16, Ronaldo's dream of winning back-to-back European titles didn't quite pan out as planned -- despite somehow still ending the tournament as the Golden Boot winner. Regardless, the Juventus forward didn't look overly heartbroken by the time he returned home, spending the days relaxing in the sunshine with his family aboard a luxury yacht and posing for his army of followers. The Juventus forward made sure his huge Instagram following knew just how happy he was to be spending time with partner Georgina Rodriguez, as well as dropping a cryptic post which got the transfer rumour mill spinning nicely.
Having fallen some way shy of expectations with France at Euro 2020, Mbappe enjoyed a low-key summer break with social media output reduced to a minimum. However, there was time for the young striker to attend the wedding of a teammate where Mbappe mingled with several former PSG alumni, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The 22-year-old shared a photo of the pair together at the outdoor reception in Paris, captioned only with a couple of suitably regal emojis. Much later, and far away from the glitz and glamour of a Parisian wedding, Mbappe was able to indulge in a moment of quiet reflection next to an illuminated swimming pool.
Pogba began the healing process after France were knocked out of Euro 2020 in the round of 16 by Switzerland by heading out to Miami to party with Ronaldinho. The Manchester United midfielder was joined by former Juventus teammate Paulo Dybala, as well as Nigerian rapper Burna Boy. Pogba also played a bit of basketball, showing off his three-point game in a video on Instagram and even asking Miami Heat player Jimmy Butler to put a word in for him.
Despite mustering his best-ever goal haul at a major tournament with Poland, Lewandowski still suffered an early exit at Euro 2020 after his country were eliminated at the first hurdle. After running himself into the ground carrying his national team the Bayern Munich striker understandably sought out the shade while opting for a summer break in Spain. Lewandowski could be found chilling out in his bucket hat and flip-flops while meandering down the street in Palma de Mallorca, before hitting the trails on his mountain bike once things had cooled down a bit. Of course, the 32-year-old fitness aficionado also found time to indulge in a little "acrobatic yoga" -- which looks precisely as perilous as it sounds -- on the beach along with his wife, Anna.
After missing out on Euro 2020 selection for Spain, Sergio Ramos spent the first few weeks of his summer break finalising a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, thus bringing to an end his 16-year association with Real Madrid. Aged 35 and with a brand-new chapter in his career to prepare for, the veteran centre-back has seemingly spent the last month or two ensuring he will be in peak physical condition upon arrival in Ligue 1. Ramos has shared regular videos of his sweat-saturated weights sessions and exercise drills on the beach, which are almost as tiring to watch as they are to do. And what better way to cool off after a tough day of endless crunching, squatting and flexing than by gathering the family together for a dip in the plunge pool.
After missing out on Euro 2020 qualification with Norway, Haaland spent some of his summer on Mykonos, unwinding on the Greek island with his entourage as the tournament rumbled on across Europe. The Borussia Dortmund striker has also been stepping out in a variety of outlandish designer garments, from silk pyjamas to a matching flamingo-themed outfit and a Boca Juniors shirt. Haaland was also spotted partying with Riyad Mahrez, who cheekily promised to try and entice the striker into signing for Manchester City.
Alas, all good things must come to an end as the 20-year-old stowed away his fancy clothes and sunglasses in order to return to Dortmund and begin the annual preseason grind -- though not before finding time to do his chores by feeding the cows down on the farm.
There was never the prospect of any tournament football to occupy Salah this summer, so he returned to his native Egypt for a summer holiday, which he largely spent lounging around in the sun. Whether aboard a yacht or swinging gently in a hammock, the Liverpool forward certainly seemed to make the most of his break by recharging the batteries ahead of his preparations for the 2021-22 season.