AC Milan goalkeeper Pepe Reina has explained what it has been like battling the Coronavirus, and also discussed his future within football.
Reina is on loan from Milan at Aston Villa, and he began self-isolating after falling ill last month.
Italy appear to be the European epicentre of the virus, with their death toll currently standing at 13,155 (as per the Mail), dwarfing the 3,318 recorded in China, where the outbreak began.
Meanwhile, a total of 2,921 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Wednesday, the Department of Health said, up by 569 from the day before.
It is no doubt an incredibly frightening situation, and Reina spoke to Mundo Deportivo about the affects that the virus has had on him. His words were transcribed by MilanNews.
“I have been talking about it in the past now, 18 days have passed since the first symptoms and I feel good. I just hope they don’t reappear,” he began.
“It is a virus that cost the lives of many people, but for many others after 4-5 days the symptoms pass. In short, you can heal. I had half an hour of difficulty, in which I could not breathe. Then in the following days constant headache, fatigue and high fever.
“The important thing is to know how to deal with it mentally. For us it is simpler, we have a large house and a garden, but many other people are not in these conditions.”
The Spaniard then revealed that he does not have many regrets about his career so far.
“Not many. I was lucky enough to have made a good career, now I hope to end the year with the salvation of Aston Villa and with Milan in the Champions League,” he said.
“I will try to lengthen my career as long as my head and body will hold up. I don’t know, but I don’t think I play beyond 40. Then I would like to become a coach.”
Reina also discussed his decision to swap the San Siro for Villa Park in January.
“At this age it would have been more comfortable to stay in Italy. But I didn’t feel that way. I wanted to be important, to still feel like a protagonist.”
He also spoke to il Corriere dello Sport about the fight against COVID-19.
“It is only now that I am winning the battle against coronavirus,” he said (via The Guardian).
“I was very tired after experiencing the first symptoms of the virus. A fever, dry cough and a headache that never went away. It was just that constant feeling of tiredness.
“The most difficult moment was when I could no longer breathe, the 25 minutes I ran out of oxygen. It was the worst moments of my life.
“The only real fear I had was when I understood there was no oxygen: endless minutes of fear, as if suddenly my throat had closed. As a result I spent the first six or eight days indoors.”