While their teammates from other continents are away on international duty, many European players in the Premier League have taken the opportunity to sneak in some winter sun on their midseason break.
Some players are toiling away for their national teams at the Africa Cup of Nations or battling for World Cup qualification, but others have been posting on social media images of them enjoying their hard-earned leisure time whiling away the idle hours on tropical beaches, at opulent restaurants and the ubiquitous golf course.
Most of them are back in action this weekend when the fourth round of the FA Cup begins (stream LIVE matches on ESPN+ in the U.S.), so this was their last chance for a little rest and relaxation ahead before the business end of the season begins in earnest.
Spare a thought, for example, for United States forward Christian Pulisic. He and the rest of his USMNT colleagues have shivered their way through three matches against CONCACAF rivals in freezing temperatures. Wednesday's 3-0 win over Honduras kicked off in St. Paul, Minn. with the thermometer at 1 degree Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of -14. How cold is that? This cold.
Excellent use of visual aids pic.twitter.com/B5nIJIqddl— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) February 3, 2022
Meanwhile, a small contingent of Pulisic's Chelsea teammates were in sunny Miami to take in some NBA action. Mason Mount and Jorginho were even invited along as guests of honour as the Miami Heat hosted the New York Knicks at the FTX Arena.
The Blues pair met with Heat star Bam Adebayo before Mount swapped personalised jerseys with Tyler Herro.
Meanwhile, teammate Antonio Rudiger travelled to Sierra Leone for a busy few days in which he launched the Antonio Rudiger Foundation, picked up a diplomatic passport and became a "brand ambassador" for the country.
The 28-year-old centre-back, whose mother is from Sierra Leone, was given a truly extraordinary welcome at the airport as throngs of excited fans heralded his arrival.
Antonio Rudiger received an incredible welcome when he landed in Sierra Leone 😳🇸🇱 pic.twitter.com/dBQcf0s2xT— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 25, 2022
Maldives Mornings 🚴👌🏽😍 pic.twitter.com/WF1md4Sdg6— Trent Alexander-Arnold (@TrentAA) January 30, 2022
Amazing memories made. Recharged and ready to go again! 🔋 🏝 pic.twitter.com/3Jp1ZEOBc8— Jordan Henderson (@JHenderson) January 30, 2022
Maguire and Pickford joined veteran British golfer Lee Westwood for the tournament, which was won by a team led by U.S. star and five-time PGA Tour winner Collin Morikawa.
"I enjoyed it, the course is amazing and to get the chance to play with Lee and score a few birdies was great," Maguire said. "We've been looked after really well, it has been a lovely day overall."
"Back with my brother," the 26-year-old wrote in his post on Instagram.
Given their recent takeover, it's perhaps unsurprising that relegation-threatened Newcastle United traipsed to Saudi Arabia for their midseason retreat. However, it would seem that the heat got the better of defender Ciaran Clark, who managed to get himself sent off in a "friendly" match against Al Ittihad.
Despite the game supposedly being a friendly, the centre-back was shown a straight red card for lashing out at striker Abdo Hamdallah.
Thankfully, both players were all smiles as they let bygones be bygones, hugged and exchanged shirts after the match.
The hard work didn't stop for Manchester United and Arsenal either, as both teams flew to Dubai in order to undergo warm-weather training camps at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex.
Putting in the hard yards 🏃♂️— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 28, 2022
📍 NAS Sports Complex, Dubai pic.twitter.com/diGKuAzqQe
During the trip, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta was reunited with former Arsenal teammate Manuel Alumnia (who now works as a coach with Al Jazira) when he stopped by to say hello.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper & current Al Jazira goalkeeping coach Manuel Almunia catching up with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during the club's warm weather training camp in Dubai today. #afc pic.twitter.com/2yHKQIuAyg— afcstuff (@afcstuff) January 31, 2022
Along with the rest of the United contingent, Cristiano Ronaldo also spent several days out in Dubai, heading out there soon after his team's 1-0 win over West Ham to post his obligatory topless sunbathing picture while wearing his own brand of swimming trunks.
The Portugal captain also seized the opportunity to celebrate his partner Georgina Rodriguez's 28th birthday in grand style. Ronaldo used a little of his celebrity clout to have the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa tower, lit up in honour of his partner to mark her big day.
The spectacular visuals included promo images of Rodriguez's new Netflix documentary series "I Am Georgina," as well as little messages from Ronaldo.
The entire family celebrated together on the beach, did some sightseeing around Dubai and then converged for supper at a restaurant with a lofted vantage of the 828-metre high illuminations.
Georgina, who is pregnant with twins, thanked her partner for making her day so special. "Here is how this exciting day ended. I can't find the words. Thanks and thanks again Cristiano. You can't make me any happier.." she wrote on Instagram.
As if his getaway wasn't busy enough already, Ronaldo also picked up a Globe Soccer award for becoming the all-time top scorer in men's international football.
But it wasn't all fun and games for Ronaldo, as he was soon back on the training pitch.
At one point, he was joined on the field by his eldest son, Cristiano Jr.
"Present and future," Ronaldo wrote in his post. No pressure, kid.
Ronaldo and his United teammates will be back in action when they host Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Friday (stream LIVE at 2:55 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.).