The UK has been in lockdown now for just over two months. In that time, we have missed lots of things – friends, family, pubs, popular high street pasty chains.
We’ve also missed our favourite footballers.
Nevertheless, in a way, it feels like we’ve got to know some of them better than ever, as they’ve let us into their homes – with broadcast group calls on IGLive and streamed yoga lessons.
Many footballers have shown off new or hidden talents – from dancing, to playing the piano, to juggling toilet rolls.
Here are just some things we’ve learned…
Ashley Young can grow hair
Perhaps the best kept secret of all time. To think – all these years, he was bald by choice. Who knew?!
Cristiano Ronaldo cares what you think
At least when it comes to taking a new tonsorial direction.
Marcus Rashford is officially a good egg
We knew it all along. Now it’s in writing.
As is Jose Mourinho
Don’t ever tell us that the spiky Portuguese manager doesn’t have a soft side.
Lewandowski cannot dance
Please Robert – do not tarnish our image of you!
Wayne Bridge, on the other hand, definitely CAN dance
It’s also worth mentioning that he looks pretty good in mustard
Sergio Ramos also has a sensitive, musical side
There’s something very sweet and boyish about this Grade 1 piano style rendition from one of the most controversial figures in the game. Is there a coded message in there though? Louis Armstrong? Strong-arm? Like how he strong-armed Mohamed Salah in the 2018 Champions League final.
Paddy Kirk is a musical genius
That’s Paddy Kirk the Bohemians left-back, not Paddy Kirk the Emmerdale character, just for clarification.
Gerrard and Lovren don’t go easy on children
The former Liverpool man here practising the art of what’s called, in the business, an early reducer – letting the opposition know that you mean business.
To clarify, by ‘early’, we mean three years old.
To be fair, he’s got the ball there…
Trent is the comeback king
First that corner against Barcelona and now this big scalp.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin developed a new ‘comedy routine’ with Bob Mortimer
The young Everton striker has received a lot of plaudits this season – he’s the Toffees’ top scorer, with 15 goals and one assist so far. However, even his partnership with Richarlison has impressed us perhaps less than this potential partnership with a British comedy legend. Train (at home) Guy is the new comedy character we want and need.
Gini Wijnaldum has hidden depths
The midfield maestro has been brave enough to share his art with us during lockdown, putting himself on the line the way he does with his team.
Patrice Evra is expert-level on Photoshop
He’s basically a one-man content production house by now, so we shouldn’t really be surprised to learn that he’s also pretty talented when it comes to photo-editing, but this face-swap has been one of our favourite things on the internet during this whole period.
Shkodran Mustafi proved he has the ability to grow
We all make mistakes Shkodran and the important thing here is that he saw the error of his ways.
The Arsenal centre-back also showed off that he’s a super dad.
Any parents who have had to combine working from home with teaching phonics to a five-year-old during lockdown will surely admire the versatility and resourcefulness displayed here by the German international.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain invented a new way to brush the floor
Klopp likes a man with quick feet and The Ox has proven that he’s not slowing down during the break from training.
James Milner knows how to occupy himself
They say that only boring people get bored and ‘boring James Milner’ has certainly shown during this lockdown that he can fruitfully find ways to entertain himself while stuck in the house – whether that’s by conjuring up his dream XI (above)…
…planning rations for the week…
…or keeping his lawn tidy.
David Luis also enjoys his own company
The great defenders make it seem like they’re in two places at once, don’t they?
The veteran Brazilian defender reached another milestone during lockdown and we’re glad he wasn’t left to celebrate alone…
New chant: ‘We all dream of a team of David Luis, a team of David Luis, a team of David Luis!’
Everyone did the toilet roll challenge
The ‘toilet roll challenge’ was the major trend of lockdown week one, as footballer and others everywhere struggled to find a use for the mountains of roll that they had stockpiled.
Starlet Phil Foden showed incredible control with the shoulder….
And Chelsea’s Ramona Bachmann took it up a notch…
And then everyone did the tea challenge
Lockdown week two came along and, presumably, people had started using their toilet roll for the stuff it was intended for. There was a new trick in town.
Mbwana Samatta takes two sugars (not sure that was signed off by the club nutritionist)…
And the less said about Harry Winks’ brewing methods, the better – the bag’s still in lad!
Seems like a long time ago now, all that, doesn’t it? Actual football in three weeks? Let’s hope so.