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Television, cooking, gym workout, fundraising: How football stars across Europe keep busy during coronavirus shutdown

Paris, March 16: Mowing the lawn, playing football with your dog, turn on the TV, helping wife cook, raising funds... footballers around Europe are trying their best as they struggle to fill the "big void" created by the coronavirus shutdown. The Premier League has postponed all matches until at least April 3.

Many are writing about the unfamiliar experience on social media. Some have already come to the conclusion that "there is nothing to do".

Let's look at what some of them have been getting up to:

Sergio Ramos sprinting on a treadmill

Real Madrid players, forced into quarantine by a case of coronavirus in the club's basketball squad, have been training at home, where most of them already had facilities and equipment. Captain Sergio Ramos posted a video on Instagram showing him sprinting on a treadmill.

View this post on Instagram

Feeling good. ⚽️😃

A post shared by Marco Asensio (@marcoasensio10) on

Marco Asensio 'feeling good'

Marco Asensio, who suffered a knee injury last summer, posted a video showing that he was continuing his recovery programme in his garden. But even for sportsmen used to working out, there is a limit.

View this post on Instagram

J3⚔️🔥 #jesuisunelegende #tabataworkout

A post shared by Karim Benzema (@karimbenzema) on

Karim Bezema plays with his dog

French star Karim Benzema shared a video of himself on a treadmill. The striker is keeping himself in the shape.

"I'm here, in my garden, there's nothing to do," Benzema said earlier in a video on social media where he appeared alongside his dog, earning him a comparison with Will Smith in the post-apocalyptic film "I am legend".

Luis Suarez a step ahead of Ramos

At Barcelona, players are following a "specific and personalised" programme set by the club which is monitoring their efforts remotely using biometric tags.

Luis Suarez had been a step ahead of Ramos, posting a video of himself trudging on a treadmill last week.

Douglas Costa practises dribbling in garden

In Italy, Juventus midfielder Douglas Costa filmed himself practising his dribbling in his back garden with his dog struggling to fill the role of defender.

Alexis Sanchez gathering chopped wood

Alexis Sanchez, on loan to Inter Milan, has two golden retrievers and a much bigger garden but he comfortably outplayed them in a video he put up online. He also posted photos of himself topless, gathering chopped wood.

Ciro Immobile helps wife in the kitchen

Jessica Melena, the wife of Ciro Immobile posted a cookery video on Instagram, showing the Lazio striker waving a spatula and mixing a cake while she coached him.

Immobile posted his own video in which he juggled furry toys with his feet. Napoli's Belgian forward Dries Mertens posted pictures of a work out with a huge bottle of red wine.

Watching television series, movies & quiz

In France, Strasbourg midfielder Adrien Thomasson was looking ahead to another empty week. "We'll have nothing to do, in the middle of the season, it's never happened before. Our habits have been turned upside down," he said. Thomasson is a ski fan but as other sports are also at a standstill that leaves a "big void" for this ski lover. "I'm going to watch series, movies, it's going to be really limited."

Television is also the refuge for James Lea Siliki, a Rennes midfielder, who tweeted the times of a couple of French quiz shows. Later he admitted a passion for a French TV karaoke show adding "I'll spare you my voice".

Shkodran Mustafi keeps himself in good shape

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has been keeping himself in good shape -- and virus-free -- in case the season can resume any time soon. The German, whose manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus on Thursday, posted a video of his cardio workout, which featured plenty of dancing and gesturing along to some of his favourite music. Clearly enjoying being about to dictate the terms of his fitness regime away from Arsenal, Mustafi's video was accompanied with the words: "The feeling when the fitness coaches can't tell you to put your phone away whilst doing bike".

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Three Watford players had been tested for coronavirus, but their goalkeeper Ben Foster refused to be tied down by self-isolation. On his Instagram story, Foster captured a picture of his bike and a car and said: "A free Saturday to do whatever I want with..."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is used to having time on his hands after spending most of last season recovering from a knee injury. He was back at home with popstar girlfriend Perrie Edwards at the weekend and posted an Instagram story of the couple's flamboyant dance routine.

Pogba organises fundraiser

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba had more serious matters on his mind as he celebrated his 27th birthday on Sunday. World Cup winner Pogba has organised a fundraising page on Facebook and the France midfielder will double the amount raised if the target of Euro 27,000 is reached.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Story first published: Monday, March 16, 2020, 11:26 [IST]
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