Football players representing the top clubs have just put paid to a frantic 2010/11 fixture list, with the top echelon of British football having played in three domestic competitions, European games and international fixtures. The summer brings an opportunity to spend the multimillions and take a well earned break before it is time for pre-season and to do it all over again.
Here are the three most popular holidaying destinations of the modern professional footballer.
Las Vegas – The bright lights of sin city have always been appealing to the professional sportsman, and this summer has been no exception. With all night partying, grand hotels and live shows to soak up, Premier League players have been rushing to get their travel money from the post office.
Manchester City’s England international duo Joe Hart and Gareth Barry have been across in America’s west coast, and have been spotted enjoying the blistering sunshine in the day, and partying whilst they can at night.
Frank Lampard has also been enjoying all that Las Vegas has to offer, but instead of travelling with teammates, went on a break with girlfriend Christine Bleakley. The Chelsea midfielder proposed his long term partner after a romantic lunch in Los Angeles, and is rumoured to have spent £120,000 on the ring (hope he had travel insurance!)
The party lifestyle of Las Vegas has it’s drawbacks however, as Marouane Chamakh found out three years ago when he was blackmailed by a Swedish woman who claimed to have illicit photographs of the now Arsenal frontman.
Barbados – The Caribbean island has become a new holiday haven for professional footballers, with a number of leading players and coaches in the English game spotted on a break this summer. Wayne Rooney has reportedly stayed in the high-brow Sandy Lane district on the island, and has been photographed spending time with Liverpool forward Andy Carroll, who has also holidayed there. Fabio Capello will hope that the two strikers can build a good rapport off the pitch, that may benefit the England side on it.
Other Premier League figures visiting the paradise island include Everton boss David Moyes, Gary Mcallister and Phil Neville.
Abu Dhabi – John Terry has taken his family to the United Arab Emirates city on an expensive and luxurious break this summer, breaking the beach or party holiday mould. The Chelsea skipper treated wife Toni and children Georgie John and Summer Rose to a stay in a five star hotel, with the cheapest room reported to be a cool £681 per night. The city on the Persian Gulf is the richest city in the world, and the defender spared no expense on the family break.
We the fans look on with jealousy as the men who play the game we love get to spend exuberant amounts of money in places we will most likely never get to see. Roll on pre-season, fitness training and a British summer.
Gareth McKnight writes for Soccerlens.com.