Premier League goalkeeper Pepe Reina has revealed his struggle against coronavirus, saying he was worried for his life and unable to breathe.
“The only real fear I had was when I understood that there was no oxygen: endless minutes of fear as if suddenly my throat had closed,” said the Spaniard, who used to play for Liverpool.
“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.”
Reina, now on loan at Aston Villa from AC Milan, said he took necessary precautions after feeling unwell, despite not being tested.
And speaking to Corriere Dello Sport, the 37-year-old opened up about his experience of COVID-19.
“I was very tired after experiencing the first symptoms of the virus,” he said.
“A fever, dry cough and a headache that never left me – it was just that constant feeling of tiredness.
“It was my turn to go through the bug. It has been a different week, of taking precautions not to infect the people who live with me.
“I don’t miss the company as it’s me, my wife Yolanda, five children and two in-laws. The house is big and loneliness has no access to my home.
“I am winning the battle against coronavirus only now,” he told the Italian newspaper.
Reina, who joined Aston Villa in the January transfer window, also maintained it was “not important” to finish the season amid the crisis
The Premier League will not restart before April 30, and the chances of that date being met are slim.
Reina added: “Football takes a back seat. I don’t care much, really. Everyone’s well-being goes above anything else. I will be a supporter of playing when everything is in the best conditions, that everyone is safe.
“Football cannot be a priority right now. It is not important to finish this league. I know and am aware of all the interests that exist around soccer, especially economic ones. But there are also many other areas, and right now the first thing is people’s health.
“April 30 as an option for the Premier to return seems to me that it will not be a real date and I think we are going to go much further.
‘But it will be time that dictates the moment. When we are all safe it will be time to take action and set dates. So far, it is useless to talk and predict any return option.”