André Silva, Ansu Fati, Blaise Matuidi, Blog - The Toe Poke, Bruno Fernandes, Clubs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dani Carvajal, Juventus, Portugal, Rúben Dias, Story, Vinicius Junior, William Saliba



With almost all football postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, star players have found themselves at a loose end.

With many training grounds off-limits, clubs have sent footballers home, where they’re adhering to an isolation period for the next few weeks. How are they passing the time?

ESPN will be keeping a daily eye on what the world’s best are up to, as well as how clubs are keeping busy by battling in online competitions against each other.

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– A letter from the great quarantine: Missing football, pasta and friendship

Never one to need an excuse to spend even more time working out in front of the mirror in his home gym, Cristiano Ronaldo has been toiling away intensively over the past few weeks.

Determined to keep his fitness levels sky high, the Juventus star has even decided to lay down the gauntlet and launch a social media challenge to try to keep pace with him.

As you might imagine, Ronaldo’s new “Living Room Cup” centres entirely on competitive physical exercise — the first event being an attempt to complete as many abdominal crunches as possible within 45 seconds.

“Hey guys, I have a new challenge for you to stay active: the Living Room Cup,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram. “Can you step up and beat my core crusher record? Show me what you got …”

The Portugal captain kicked things off and laid down an impressive marker by getting through 142 core crushes in the allotted time, smiling all the while.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long before his fellow professionals accepted the challenge and posted their own attempts.

William Saliba

The 19-year-old Arsenal defender (who is on loan back at former club Saint-Etienne this season) made a decent fist of it but struggled to match Ronaldo, amassing just 65 crunches in 45 seconds.

Dani Carvajal

The Real Madrid full-back had a bash as well and while reaching the century mark, only got to 105 before time ran out.

Ansu Fati

The Barcelona prodigy reached a total of 107, though he appeared to struggle — to the point where teammate Samuel Umtiti left a comment to remind Fati to “breath my boy.”

Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United‘s new star midfielder also had a go, though he fell slightly short of the mark, mustering 117 ab crushes.

Vinicius Jr.

The young Real Madrid forward gave it his best shot but was unable to surpass the master, registering just 125 crushes. “Not bad,” the Brazilian wrote — but sadly not quite good enough, either.

Blaise Matuidi

Ronaldo’s teammate at Juventus also accepted the challenge and powered his way to 144 crushes.

Ruben Dias

Ronaldo’s fellow countryman was next up, with the 22-year-old Benfica defender finishing bang on 150.

“150 abs in 45 seconds. Not bad for a Sunday,” Dias quipped on Instagram. “Challenge accepted Cristiano.”

Andre Silva

However, the record is currently held by another Portugal international, Andre Silva of Eintracht Frankfurt, who somehow managed to complete 156 crunches in 45 seconds.

Out-crunching Ronaldo is no mean feat. In fact, it’s very nearly superhuman!

Silva’s is definitely a record that is going to take some breaking.

The West Ham midfielder took the opportunity to escape out into the garden for a kickaround with his wife, Andriani.

All was fair and above board until the moment Wilshere lost possession, at which point the midfield terrier instincts kicked in and he clattered his poor partner to the ground with an industrial sliding tackle.

There was obviously something in the air on Sunday, as Watford defender Kabasele also indulged in the simple pleasures of hacking down family members in the backyard.

The Arsenal youngster had quite the revelation over the weekend when he discovered, quite unbeknownst to him, that he had a “little brother.”

The best effort to emerge on Sunday was that of retired pro O’Hanlon and his son, in particular, who spent the day recreating some of the best goals ever scored.

From Wayne Rooney to Ronaldo to Thierry Henry, the youngster did a brilliant job of mimicking a vast array of classic wonder strikes (though some of the goalkeeping on display leaves a bit to be desired!).



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