Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina urges fans to take coronavirus seriously after showing symptoms
Villa keeper Pepe Reina has urged people to take coronavirus seriously after revealing he experienced symptoms of the disease.
The 37-year-old Spaniard, who is on loan at Villa from AC Milan, explained how it felt like a “truck had passed over him” when he experienced a dry cough, fever and breathing difficulties last week, though he was not tested for the virus.
Reina believes it is imperative people now follow the rules on social distancing put in place by the government in order to stop the spread of the virus.
He told Spanish radio: “Last week 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.
“Here tests are not conducted unless you are (in a) very bad (state). Speaking to the doctors, the symptoms I had were of (the virus), without official confirmation of it but everything pointed to it.
“I felt like a truck had passed over me but now everything is behind me and I feel fine.
“I follow the news from Spain and Italy, even more than from England . There is concern, this applies to everyone.
“Right now we have to be good citizens and respect the rules, the stronger we will be and the sooner we will defeat this virus . We must stay home and isolate ourselves, so we will overcome this critical situation.”
While urging people to stay at home, Reina also acknowledged he and his family are in a “privileged” position, adding: “We have a big house, with a garden. I think of the people who live in a (small) apartment with two children and for me they are people who are showing a lot of strength.”
Reina has made six Premier League appearances for Villa since joining in January until the end of the season.
The club cancelled group training sessions early last week with the Premier League suspended and not expected to resume until May at the earliest.
Despite an increasing likelihood the league will resume behind closed doors, Reina believes there is no point in restarting without fans.
He said: “I don’t know if we will play again this season. We have to be careful when talking about dates or deadlines. I understand that there are economic interests and a lot at stake.
“There’s no point in playing without fans [in the stadium]. People have to enjoy it. We feel more fulfilled with fans. Beyond that, whatever is healthier and safer will be done.”