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Winter break dates for Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1

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With the 2020-21 season starting late due to the coronavirus pandemic, the winter break that Europe's top leagues enjoy has been affected and, in most cases, shortened.

Here's how the break fits in this season.

- When does the transfer window open again?

Premier League

Last season, Premier League clubs enjoyed a winter break for the very first time. However, in England the league did not go into complete hibernation, as is the case everywhere else.

The winter break, actually called a "player break," was split across a three-week period at the start of February. Half the Premier League took the first two weeks off, with the other half the following fortnight. It meant the league could continue to have fixtures every weekend.

This season, it simply isn't possible. The gameweek for "player break," which should have been split across two weekends in February, is now over two midweeks in January, 12 and 19, with fixtures continuing on weekends as usual.

La Liga

Last season, La Liga had a two-week winter break, beginning after the weekend of Dec. 21 with games resuming on Jan. 4.

For 2020-21, the league will cease after a midweek round on Wednesday, Dec. 23 and swing back into action on Tuesday, Dec. 29. So while Spain may get the Christmas weekend off, in reality there is no real winter break.

Serie A

Italy's winter break period mirrored that of Spain, starting the weekend before Christmas and running for two weeks.

Serie A will also play until Wednesday, Dec. 23 in this campaign, but is able to have a 10-day recess before matches resume on the weekend of Jan. 2-3.

Italy only has four Coppa Italia rounds to fit in during the regular season, while in Spain there are seven matchdays to squeeze into the calendar.

Bundesliga

The Bundesiga, with four fewer rounds of matches in its schedule, has always enjoyed a lengthy winter break. In 2019-20, clubs were given a mammoth four weeks off that began after the games on the weekend of Dec. 21, restarting on Jan. 17.

But this term German clubs, like their Italian counterparts, will only get 10 days. While the final Bundesliga matches of the year will be played on Dec. 20, there is a full round of DFB Pokal matches scheduled for Dec. 22 and Dec. 23. The league programme returns on the weekend of Jan. 2.

Ligue 1

Last season, Ligue 1 also had two weeks off after Dec. 21, returning for Coupe de France fixtures on the weekend of Jan. 4.

But for 2020-21, most Ligue 1 clubs will actually get a longer break. This is due to the Ligue 1 season starting earlier than all the other leagues, and delays to the Coupe de France.

League matches are scheduled through to Wednesday, Dec. 23 before a two-and-a-half week break with games on the midweek of Jan. 6.

The extended break is because the Coupe de France had to be suspended at the end of October when French President Emmanuel Macron imposed a second COVID-19 lockdown, which halted all amateur football. It means the competition is already two rounds behind where it should be on Jan. 2, when Ligue 1 clubs were due to enter in the round of 64.

The exception is for Marseille and Lens, who will play a postponed match on Sunday, Jan. 3.