Seven ways footballers not at World Cup can kill time – from dates to 1000-piece jigsaws
Club football has been put on the back burner with the World Cup in Qatar taking centre stage over the next month.
For those selected to represent their nations, there's been little reprieve from the packed fixture schedule. But players who aren't taking part can now take a breather and treat the next four weeks as a mini pre-season.
With no competitive games for the foreseeable future, they'll have much more free time on their hands. Their options are endless – starting a new hobby, catching up with their mates, getting in the festive spirit – who knows what they could get up to?
Well, we at Daily Star Sport thought we'd kindly offer up seven things footballers who aren't at the World Cup can kill time doing.
READ MORE: Six surprise breakout stars of World Cup tournaments who were unknown beforehand
Watch a lower league game
While the top leagues around the world have paused for the World Cup, there's plenty of football still going on in the lower leagues.
In England, League One and League Two are still in full flow, and of course there's always non-league football taking place up and down the country.
We've already seen seventh-tier side Ashton United make an offer to take Manchester City goal machine Erling Haaland on a 28-day loan, so maybe he could head to their ground and check it out.
What would you suggest they get up to? Let us know in the comments section.
Dates with their WAGs
Most stars will have lacked time to spend with their wives and girlfriends so far this season with games coming thick and fast every few days.
England's WAGs will be staying on a £1billion cruise ship in Doha throughout the World Cup and aren't allowed to see their partners.
But those staying at home will be able to head out on plenty of dates to make up for lost time before the season kicks back off on Boxing Day.
Who doesn't love a good jigsaw, eh? They're a sure-fire way to pass the time when you've got nothing else to do.
And they've got a lot in common with football when you think about it – getting every piece in the right place, a patient build up, and making tactical changes mid-game.
We know footballers love to challenge themselves, so a 1000-piece puzzle could be right up their street.
Head down the park for a kickabout
A popular complaint with the modern game is that players these days are out of touch with reality thanks to their mega pay packets.
Well what better time for them to re-connect with the local community with a kickabout down their local park while the World Cup is on.
Shortly after the Russia World Cup in 2018, Jesse Lingard made memories for a lifetime for a group of kids he stopped to play with. More of that, please.
Watch the Home Alone movies back-to-back-to-back
Football's grandest tournament happening in winter for the first time ever has meant it's overshadowed what we're all usually getting excited about at this time of the year: Christmas!
Players never usually get the opportunity to make the most of the festive season with their families, but now they can.
Putting up the tree, filling the stockings, and of course, watching the Home Alone movies. That'll put a smile back on the faces of the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Sergio Ramos after their World Cup snubbings.
Polish their trophies
There's a whole host of world-class talent not travelling to Qatar, whether it be because they're injured, they weren't selected or their nation didn't qualify for the finals.
Haaland, Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba, Roberto Firmino, Reece James – the list goes on. It will be tough for them having to watch their counterparts battle it out from a distance.
But a good polishing session of the trophies they've already won in their careers should cheer them up and remind them that it's not all doom and gloom.
Watch the World Cup!
Four games of football being played every day for the best part of two weeks is every fan's dream, which is why the World Cup is so special.
It only rolls around once every four years, so it's important to make the most of it while it's here.
So even if they might be sick of watching back their own performances, players stuck at home should tune in for the non-stop coverage like the rest of us.
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