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Superstar status calls for superstar celebrations: How did Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo, Haaland and others bring in the New Year? 🥳🥂


🎆 Happy New Year from all of us at the Plei App! 🎆
It’s only the third day of 2024, so we don’t want to take too much of your time as you get your New Year’s resolutions going. We’ve got an easy read in store for you below, as we look at what some of your favorite footballers were up to when the clock struck 12. 🎊
As per usual, let us know your thoughts by replying to this email after you’re done reading. 📲

Professional players are no different from us when it comes to wanting to celebrate the New Year in style! 💫

Some spent their last moments of 2023 indoors with family; others went above and beyond, watching the fireworks hit the sky in outdoor gatherings. 🎆

How did your favorite footballer greet 2024? Scroll through as we highlight the New Year’s festivities of some icons of the beautiful game! ⚽

Cristiano Ronaldo

The man himself starts off our list.

Cristiano Ronaldo decided to welcome 2024 in his hometown of Madeira, Portugal with his girlfriend of 7+ years Georgina Rodríguez and other members of his family.

The New Year wasn’t the only thing CR7 was celebrating, though. At 38 years young, Cristiano finished as the top goalscorer of the calendar year, netting 54 times for Al Nassr.

2023 may have finished, but the Portuguese legend sure isn’t.

Erling Haaland

What a year for Erling Haaland.

The Norwegian Terminator himself lifted the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup trophies and took home the Gerd Muller prize as the world’s best striker.

He may well have been a bit disappointed to not win the Ballon d’Or after netting 52 times across all competitions last season, but he still had plenty of achievements to celebrate as he took time to reflect on his 2023.

Dressed in a classy, all-black suit, Haaland was spotted enjoying the new year festivities in Dubai alongside girlfriend Isabel Haugseng Johansen and some close friends.

We have no doubt that 2024 will be a huge year for the Man City number nine.

Thiago Silva

Is it just us or is this guy aging like fine wine?

Yeah, yeah, he’s not that old, all things considered, but as a footballer still playing at the highest level as a starter, Thiago Silva is borderline ancient.

And we don’t say that to disrespect him. We say it because he doesn’t get nearly as much respect and praise that he 100% deserves. Beyond the fact that he’s 39, he traded PSG for Chelsea and against all odds, won the Champions League with them, a year on after losing the final in Lisbon at the hands of Bayern.

Despite the rapid decline of the Blues in recent years, Silva has maintained himself a loyal servant of the club, serving as a role model to a very, very young squad that boasts an average age of 24. What’s more is that if you subtract Silva, the average plummets even further.

Thiago Silva, alongside his wife, kids and other family members & friends, celebrated the New Year at their home in West London.

We can only hope for many more healthy years for the Brazilian center back as he enters the final phase of his long career.

Kylian Mbappé

We’re having a bit of a laugh here.

Kylian Mbappé didn’t post any photos of his New Year’s festivities, but he did post on Christmas Day, where he’s clearly having a blast in the snow with his younger brother & teammate Ethan and close friend Brice Tchaga.

The PSG duo also spent some intimate time with their father Wilfried, warming up by a campfire.

A sign that Kylian is warming up for a 2024 filled with goals and trophies, perhaps even a Ballon d’Or? For football entertainment purposes, one can only hope so.

Thomas Müller

The heart and soul of Bayern Munich.

When Thomas Müller finally retires, German football will no longer be the same.

Luckily, he’s only 34. Although he isn’t necessarily playing as impactful a role as he used to for club and country, make no mistake, he’s an outright legend. He’ll be severely missed when he finally calls it quits.

His energy and charisma both on and off the field sets him apart from the rest, and he continued to display that as he celebrated the New Year with his wife Lisa. The Müller couple posted photos where you can see the Bayern man wearing a stylish outfit paired with festive ‘Happy New Year’ glasses.

Never change, Thomas, never change.

Robert Lewandowski

Sure, the Polish striker has had better years, but that doesn’t mean 2023 was a bad one for him.

As one of the greatest strikers of all time, Robert Lewandowski continued to display his hunger for goals throughout last season, finishing with 33 goals across all competitions, as he lifted the La Liga and Supercopa de España trophies in his first full year with Barcelona.

Throughout the first half of the 23/24 season, he added a further nine goals. At 35 years old, his prime years may already be behind him, but let’s give the guy the credit he deserves.

Lewandowski rang in the New Year in similar fashion to the way he scores his plethora of goals: with class. He and his wife Anna Lewandowska spent the holiday at a large gathering with family & friends.

Messi, Suarez & Neymar

Sure, we could’ve talked about each of them separately, but it makes it more nostalgic to do it this way.

If there’s one way to describe Leo Messi’s 2023 - besides talking about his Ligue 1 trophy, Inter Miami masterclasses and eighth Ballon d’Or, awarded to him in large part due to his World Cup success - it’s that it was a year of happy reunions for him.

As we all know, he rejoined forces with former Barca teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, and now Luis Suarez has made his way to South Florida after a stint with Brazilian club Gremio.

Unfortunately, the same positive football takeaways can’t be said for Neymar, whose big money move to Al Hilal was limited to just five appearances before he sustained yet another long term injury that has him out until at least April.

Nonetheless, the Brazilian number 10 was all smiles during his New Year’s celebrations, welcoming in 2024 in a stylish outfit and spending quality time with his father, friends and other relatives.

Messi and Suarez also did the same, but instead keeping it a bit more intimate than their former Barcelona teammate.

At this point, we’ll probably never see the iconic trident together on a team ever again, so we can only hope for many more years on the pitch for each of them individually.

Federico Chiesa & Dušan Vlahović

At this point, it’s pretty well-documented that these Juventus forwards are a dynamic duo both on and off the field, but this photo puts the cherry on top.

Federico Chiesa and Dušan Vlahović once again could not be separated, this time celebrating together at a New Year’s Eve party in Turin.

There’s something about these two somehow managing to wear outfits on complete opposite ends of the attire dress code that makes this photo that much more elite.

I just have one question for Vlahović: who are you trying to impress??? 😅

Mohamed Salah

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find any photos documenting exactly what Mo Salah was up to when the clock hit midnight.

But we do know what he was doing less than a day later: putting up an absolute masterclass performance against Newcastle at Anfield.

What better way to bring on 2024 than to score a double in front of over 60,000 fans that absolutely adore you? Not to mention this being the last time we’ll see Salah in the Premier League for over a month, as he heads out for the AFCON.

Liverpool fans will want to frame this photo in the meantime.

That’s it for the 36th edition of our newsletter! 😅
How did you like it? Let me know by messaging me via email at [email protected] or by sending us a text. 📲
We want to make sure we’re providing the right content to you all, so if you have any interesting football business topics that you’d like us to write about, don’t hesitate to send in your requests! 📩

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