Many people will look at football and would assume that footballers take holidays all the time.
Something you can understand when you see that players who don’t even start every week in the big leagues make a comfortable living.
However, for the amounts of money professional footballers make, that would allow them to go anywhere they desire.
The number of vacations they go on per year may not be what you expect.
So in this post, I am going to address soccer players’ vacations, how many they get to go on, and how much time they have of each year.
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Do Soccer Players Take Vacations?
Soccer players will take vacations every year.
However, the amount of time they are allowed to have to themselves and spend time with family will depend on several factors.
That is because, in football, not all leagues and clubs operate in the same way.
If we take an amateur footballer who doesn’t play football for a living, for example.
They will be able to go on vacation whenever they want as long as they have the funds to do so.
Since they are not contracted to play, they could even choose to go on holiday while the season is on.
However, someone who plays at this level may find themselves having to keep on working their full-time job, even when the season finishes, to keep themselves afloat.
If we go a step up to semi-professional football, it is a little bit different in how it works, as soccer players will often get paid on an appearance basis.
They’re not contracted at this level, meaning they can go on holiday when they choose.
However, with them being committed to their team and also getting paid a little bit to play.
They won’t usually take vacations during a season but more when its over.
Not Having The Freedom You Would Expect
Now chances are your here because you want to know if professional soccer players get vacations, and this is where things get interestingly complicated.
As with the money they make, that would, on paper mean they could go anywhere in the world.
Since they are contracted at their club, they need permission to do this.
Now, of course, footballers will get given vacations as clubs aren’t going to want to drive their players to the ground.
However, commitments across the year to their club will leave them with less vacation time as you would initially expect.
As even when there not playing matches during the season, they will be training all across the week.
Because while some people look at professional soccer players as some job that requires not as much work, they do technically work every day.
How Long Do Soccer Players Have Vacation?
If we look at it from a yearly basis, then a soccer player, on average will have between 1-3 months of vacation.
The reason why that gap is fairly big with some players having longer vacations is because of different variables come into play.
Interestingly some footballers can go from having a one-month’s vacation over the course of a year.
To the next year having 3 or maybe more months off.
Now what influences this, is the things I will talk about now:
1. The League They Play In
The league they are in plays a big role in not only when a player gets to go on vacation but the time.
Now, most leagues in Europe will play between August and May.
So players in this league will literally play matches and train for ten months straight before getting a break.
That would leave you thinking that a footballer in these leagues gets a nice two months off.
However, with European clubs starting their pre-season around about the start of July, it means they only have around one month off.
If you compare this to a league like MLS, where a season starts just before March and ends in October.
That is an extra two months holiday players in that league have.
Even with the pre-season for the next campaign included.
That league, though is run differently as with a post-season on top of a regular season, some teams will still be playing into December.
While teams that didn’t fare aswell in the regular season finish their season in October.
Meaning that depending on what MLS team a player is signed to.
They may have more vacation one year but then less than the next if they do well.
So as you can see, the league that a player is in does have a big influence on how much vacation a player gets.
Now, if a player is not professional, then they will have more freedom to take a vacation.
If someone employs them they can discuss vacation dates over a year.
While someone who is self-employed but plays football on the side is in control of their days off.
2. National Duties
What you will find to be the case around the big leagues is that when a season starts, some players are not on the squad for the first few league games.
Other than because of injury, one of the main reasons for this is they have been on national duties after the previous season finished, and the club has given them time to have a vacation.
A tournament like a European Championships or World Cup will normally occur in the summer, right after a season starts.
So if a player is involved and selected, they might find themselves in a position where they’re playing football every month, if not for the clubs giving them that break.
That is why its good that players get that rest, whether that be being exempt from Pre-Season or missing the first few fixtures to rest them in preparation for a new season.
3. Winter Breaks
While all footballers will have a break once the season finishes, some players get a couple of weeks to break over the festive period giving them extra time off.
Most leagues around Europe have what’s called a winter break.
This is also the case in North America with MLS and Liga MX who naturally have the festive period off because their seasons run through the summer.
With that said in England, it has become a tradition for football to remain on during Christmas and early new years.
The Premier League, along with divisions such as the Championship, League One, etc will have fixtures across the festive period.
This will even include games on Boxing Day and New Year as it has become a tradition in the country.