Where do star footballers go on holiday at the end of the season?

Antonela Roccuzzo Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo Dubai
Instagram/Getty/GOAL composite
The best footballers might be lucky if they get two weeks off some years, so where do they go?

Between the club season, which runs from August to May, and international commitments in June and July, elite-level footballers don't really get much time off. However, they make the most of their holidays on the rare occasions when they come.

The likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have shown a penchant for trips to the United States, while the Middle East has become a popular region for some players, including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

So where do the biggest football stars go on their holidays? GOAL takes a look at some of the most popular destinations for soccer players.

Check out Soccer Cities 23! The best places for football fans to visit

This article contains affiliate links. When you subscribe through the links, we may earn a commission.

  1. Ibiza & Formentera πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

    Ibiza & Formentera πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

    The Spanish islands of Ibiza and Formentera in the Mediterranean have been popular sun-holiday destinations for footballers over the years.

    Younger athletes have been known to sample Ibiza's internationally renowned nightlife, with a number of famous nightclubs hosting popular electronic music DJs and bands, but there is something for everyone on the Balaerics.

    Veteran stars such as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cesc Fabregas notably took their families on a trip to the islands in 2022, spending downtime together on a yacht as well as taking in the local sights and sounds.

    With average temperatures hovering around the mid-20s degrees Celsius (around 80 degrees Farenheit) in June and July, Ibiza and Formentera are perfect destinations for players seeking a sun holiday that has it all.

    Check out where to stay in Ibiza below.

  2. New York πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

    New York πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

    New York City has become a popular destination for footballers to visit during the European off-season.

    The City That Never Sleeps is one of the most iconic places to visit in the world, thanks to its almost mythic allure, fast-paced lifestyle and unmistakeable, mesmerising skyline.

    One of the biggest draws for many footballers is the chance to see American sports live, with NBA games being a particular attraction. It is not unusual to find stars of the European game in the crowd at a New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets game in the summertime.

    The fact that New York is a global commercial hub and relatively accessible with a trans-Atlantic flight, means that footballers based in Europe are often able to get some promotional work in with their commercial partners too while on holiday.

    Planning a trip to NYC? Check out where to stay below!

  3. Dubai πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ͺ

    Dubai πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ͺ

    Over the past 10 years, Dubai has become synonymous with professional footballers, with countless players flocking to the Persian Gulf city on their holidays in both the summer and winter thanks to its warm, sunny weather.

    In fact, sports stars and celebrities of all stripes are welcomed with open arms in Dubai, with the high profile guests wanting for nothing while visiting the city. Indeed, it is not uncommon for athletes to meet with ruling dignitaries and spend time with them too.

    With a beautiful coast line and luxurious accommodation, players are able to enjoy a quiet getaway with their loved ones, while also being able to avail of the city's state-of-the-art gym and sports facilities - including all-important golf courses.

    That means they can enjoy their time off, but also stay in tip-top condition.

    Check out the interactive map below for places to stay in Dubai.

  4. Las Vegas πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

    Las Vegas πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

    England and Manchester City star Jack Grealish famously indulged in the Las Vegas hospitality along with his friends after helping Pep Guardiola's team to the Premier League title in 2022, while Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney flew the Wrexham team out to Nevada as a reward for securing promotion from the National League.

    It is easy to see why 'Sin City' has such an appeal for footballers who want to let their hair down after a gruelling season, with no shortage of titillations available.

    "It was unbelievable," said Wrexham star striker Paul Mullin of their trip to the City of Light. "We were treated like Kings!"

    From casinos, pool resorts and music shows to sporting events and fine dining, Vegas truly has something for everyone.

    The Strip itself is monumental, with Fremont retaining some of the 'Old Vegas' charm, while day trips through the Mojave desert to places like Hoover Dam are easily done.

    Planning a trip? Check out places to stay below.

  5. Mykonos πŸ‡¬πŸ‡·

    Mykonos πŸ‡¬πŸ‡·

    The Greek islands have always been a popular destination for holiday makers and Mykonos is one that has witnessed an influx of footballers in recent years.

    From Liverpool star Mohamed Salah chilling in his villa to England stars enjoying the Aegean nightlife and cuisine, you might well find yourself bumping into a Premier League star on your next visit to the Cyclades.

    Here's where you can stay in Mykonos - check the map below!

  6. Barcelona πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

    Barcelona πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

    Barcelona is, of course, home to one of the biggest football teams in the world, but it is also a hugely popular destination for footballers seeking a holiday break.

    Liverpool stars enjoyed a team holiday in the city in May 2023 as the season wound down, while Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes took his wife Ana to the city in 2022, taking in sights such as the Sagrada Familia while they were there.

    Barcelona is easily accessible by plane from any major European city, which means it is ideal for short breaks and footballers often descend on the city for major events, such as music gigs (see Lionel Messi at Coldplay).

    Most recently, stars such as Kylian Mbappe, Joao Felix and Neymar were seen casually wandering around at the Spanish Grand Prix!

    Fancy a city break to Barcelona? Here's where you can stay, below.

  7. Miami πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

    Miami πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

    Lionel Messi has decided to swap Paris for Miami on a permanent basis, but the World Cup winner was a frequent visitor to the Florida city over the years, enjoying a number of vacations before opting to make it his home.

    The Argentine has become well acquainted with The Sunshine State and memorably spent time in Miami in the aftermath of his 2021 Copa America triumph with Argentina, getting mobbed by fans at Cafe Ragazzi.

    Messi's former team-mate Neymar has been spotted around Miami too, most recently attending a Miami Heat game and hanging out with Jimmy Butler.

    Planning a trip to Miami soon? Maybe you want to see Messi in the flesh - Check the map for where to stay.