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Barcelona return to training as La Liga prepare for a possible restart

Barcelona returned to training on Friday after the La Liga champions allowed their stars to enter their facility to prepare for a possible restart to football in Spain.

Lionel Messi and company took the fields at Joan Gamper training centre for individual sessions, that the players arrived alone in kit and took to the three pitches without passing through the changing rooms.

As well as doing their routines, they were also subjected to tests to ascertain what effect two months of coronavirus quarantine has had on their bodies.

“Finally we are becoming back to normal. We hope to hold on which soon we will revisit to enjoying what we wish to do most,” Arturo Vidal told sports daily Marca.

Sevilla, Villarreal, Osasuna and Leganes also returned to training, while Real Madrid – who were two points behind league leaders Barca when play stopped in mid-March – will likely start again on Monday should their players pass virus tests administered on Wednesday.

That would mark almost two months since Real had been placed in quarantine following a positive test for a member of the club’s five .

According to Spanish media, none of Real’s players have suffered from virus symptoms, but Zinedine Zidane will need to do without Serb attacker Luka Jovic after Real announced on Friday he had fracture his right heel.

Footballers in Spain have restarted training following the announcement last week of state plan that aims to finish quarantine for professional players.

Individual training sessions are the primary step to what La Liga hopes are going to be a return to action in June which will complete the 2019-20 season behind closed doors.

The first aspect of a four-phase de-escalation programme allows a maximum of six players on the pitch at anybody time.

La Liga’s programme will then permit training in small groups before a return to larger team sessions.

In the fourth and final phase, in early June, the govt has said outside events can plow ahead when attended by fewer than 400 people.

League president Javier Tebas has said “it isn’t an option” to cancel the season given the economic fallout, estimating it might cost clubs around a billion euros ($1.08 billion).

On Thursday, Leganes coach Javier Aguirre said La Liga will resume on June 20 and endways July 26, although league bosses refused to verify his claim that they had told him the dates.

“La Liga has just informed me officially and that i am very happy that because we’ve now scheduled the training sessions,” Aguirre told Marca Claro.

AFP

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