The evolution of a footballer’s lifestyle

When football started in England in the late 19th century, it was in itself a pastime for even the best players. Indeed, the winners of the first ever FA Cup Final in 1872 were Wanderers FC, a group of former pupils who went to Harrow, while the runners-up were Royal Engineers AFC, who had worked with the British Army.

Footballers were grouped by common life circumstances, rather than level of playing ability. There wasn’t a great deal of money in the game and for some time, the notion of playing football for cash was frowned upon as unethical. Football was a fun pastime and therefore preparation for games was far more relaxed.

In the modern era, a different mentality is required. While footballers are very privileged to have the job they do, they perhaps cannot afford to merely enjoy it: the stakes are high and the demand for focus is unrelenting. That opens up the question: how do footballers spend their free time in a way that is fun, whilst meeting their club’s requirements?

Before taking the journey through the football players’ free time and the way they like to spend it, perhaps you might want to take a look at the football odds today. You will find out that, just like players do, placing a few bets can easily turn into a great free time activity. And that’s where we’ll start…



Betting has it’s advantages and disadvantages for footballers. When it’s done in a controlled manner with a strict spending cap, it can be a fun way to pass afternoons and evenings. It offers the emotional thrill of making an educated guess on a result based on value to win or lose money, without having to get through physical exercise at a time when footballers must rest.

However, gambling must be done responsibly. Former Premier League midfielder Joey Barton was charged by the FA for breaking betting regulations, lower league manager Ronnie Moore lost his job at Tranmere Rovers on similar grounds. In other cases, the habit of betting can be harmful for footballers when they retire, if money stops coming in, so while it can be enjoyable, an element of caution is advised.


No matter if they are in a training program or at home with their best friends, footballers enjoy spending free time playing video or computer games. Football Manager, for example, has a vast database that includes the attributes of 1000s of footballers across the world. Playing that game will help a player improve their knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of future opponents – and it might not do any harm for any possible future coaching ambitions.

Seeing new places

Half the matches footballers play in are based far away from where they live, which offers them opportunities to explore. Between training and team meals on away trips, players can visit the town, check out the local history, see beautiful sights and architecture. At least, that’s what we thought Gazza was up to…

Listening to music

The habit of wearing headphones isn’t universally appreciated; some traditionalist football fans feel that disregards those around them. The flip side though is that lots of footballers feel their concentration improves by listening to music. This dilemma isn’t unique to football: whether fixation with technology comes at the expense of human interaction is a question that runs through modern society.

Family reunion

Free time is most precious when it’s being spent with one’s loved ones. Footballers must adapt to a heavy schedule over Christmas and New Year – most must play five games in two weeks while their non-sporting friends scoff mince pies – so it is important that players spend time with their family when they can to recharge batteries. Although, the chap in the photograph below getting water chucked at him might still need some relaxation time!

Playing sports

When it comes on how to spend free time usefully important football players are known for their appetite on improving their professional skills by playing other sports. By doing so they will not just spend free time but they will also improve their game tactics and physical skills. This is why, same position players, are quoted differently. For more info on this matter, you can check out an odds comparison site.


Footballers have their dream-job that normally gives them a more than comfortable living, so it is nice when they feel compelled to give something back. For example, foodbanks are a cause close to Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson’s heart – he sent a letter to a fan who donated with his pocket money, giving him Roberto Firmino’s signed shirt, commenting: “nobody wants the left-back’s shirt”! Top footballers have many fans and are role models for admiring children. This is why sometimes footballers spend free time seeing orphanages and hoping to bring some guidance and mentor the children – fair play to those who do.