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Football winter breaks 2018-19: When do La Liga, Premier League & top leagues pause?

6:20 AM EST 1/1/19
Raheem Sterling Manchester City West Ham
The English top-flight is the only league not to observe a Christmas break, while all the other major European leagues are afforded a short pause

Having already observed the more congested parts of the festive period, several leagues in Europe will either be ultra-busy – or enjoying some much-needed time off.

A handful of European clubs are luckily enough to be given a Christmas break, but others are not so lucky.

Goal takes a look at when football will take a pause this winter.

When does the Premier League break for Christmas?

The Premier League does not currently observe a Christmas break, and there is no break in fixtures across the festive period.

The English top-flight is, notably, the only major European league to not observe a break, and the December and January schedule is the opposite of a resting period – with as many as three games played during the course of a seven-day span to accommodate all the fixtures.

Figures in football have lamented the lack of a break during the holiday period, as leagues such as Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and La Liga all witness a break during the winter season, enabling them to return to crucial Champions League last 16 action in the new year prepared and well-rested.

The notoriously congested Christmas period fixture schedule puts a massive physical strain on Premier League footballers, though it will all change during the 2019-20 season, when the first winter break in the Premier League is set to take place.

It will also align itself with the new TV deal rights that were announced earlier this year, while also prepares itself for the Qatar World Cup in 2020, which will force the Premier League to take a winter break into account as the competition will be held from December to January.

When does La Liga, Serie A and other top European leagues break for Christmas?

The big-four other European leagues aside from the Premier League all observe a short winter period, and you can view their holiday breaks below.

Players in the Bundesliga are those who benefit from the most generous break, with a monumental 22-day resting period from club duty during the festive calendar.

Country Break starts Break ends Duration
Germany Dec 20 Jan 12 22 days
France Dec 20 Jan 6 16 days
Italy Jan 6 Jan 21 14 days
Spain Dec 23 Jan 3 11 days