31 March 2020 – Lockdowns and isolation impacting billions round the world;

Footballers have been sharing their tips on how to deal with the experience; Fitness and skills tips, entertainment and health advice has poured in.

For all of us, these are strange and uncertain times. Right now, and right across the world, billions are still getting to grips with the unsettling experience of self-isolation and national lockdowns.

But as we come to terms with the steps needed to tackle the Coronavirus, a spirit of global community is flourishing within football and spreading like wildfire across social media. The game’s biggest stars have been at the the heart of that community, playing a key role in ensuring that some purpose – and joy – can come from the time we’re spending at home.

From fitness tips through technical challenges to pure entertainment, there has been a steady diet for fans of the beautiful game to feast on, as FIFA.com discovers.

Keeping active

Showing supporters how they are staying fit while isolated has been an obvious way for players – and even some referees – to share their expertise.

Everton, meanwhile, broadcast an introduction to yoga, while Kevin De Bruyne provided a lighthearted suggestion of how to combine exercise and childcare.

Honing skills

At-home activity doesn’t need to be all hard graft, of course. Self-isolation also provides the perfect opportunity to work on your technique, and there have been plenty of footballers doing just that.

Some dazzling skills have been on show, while the #stayathomechallenge – also known as the #toiletpaperchallenge – proved a huge social media hit.

But perhaps the most creative example was provided when Osasuna duo Raul Navas and Fran Merida found a novel way to train together while respecting social distancing guidelines.

Keeping occupied

While we all love football, even the most ardent fan would acknowledge that life does not begin and end with the beautiful game. And while professional players have an even bigger void to fill, they have used these unprecedented times to showcase a few other passions.

Music has been a popular outlet, with David Alaba and Hannah Wilkinson sharing their talents with the world, and Caitlin Foord and Christian Pulisic bringing the party vibe. Consoles have also been a refuge for those seeking a competitive football hit, while James Milner has been keeping us entertained with a few unusual rituals – tea-rationing among them.

But the most valuable aspect of this period is, of course, the opportunity to spend quality time with those we love most. And from Robert Lewandowski through Bethany England to Lionel Messi, there have been no shortage of footballers sharing the joy that comes with playing with children – and favourite pets.

The most important advice of all

Of course, while keeping fans healthy and entertained is of immense value, there is also an obligation to acknowledge why these vital containment measures have been put in place.

That’s why some of the biggest names in football have taken time to join FIFA and the World Health Organization in promoting the five simple ways in which every one of us can help keep Covid-19 at bay.