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'I thought it was a joke' - Valencia ace Mangala opens up on coronavirus diagnosis

16:13 GMT+4 17/03/2020
EliaquimMangala - cropped
The Frenchman is in isolation at his family home, sticking to a training schedule and watching Netflix since his positive COVID-19 test

Valencia defender Eliaquim Mangala was taken aback by his coronavirus diagnosis and has still not experienced any symptoms as he continues 14 days in isolation.

Mangala was one of five first-team players from the Spanish club to test positive for COVID-19, with Ezequiel Garay and Jose Gaya the other players from that group to have confirmed their diagnoses.

On Monday, Valencia announced 35 per cent of all tests carried out on people associated with the club had come back positive.

Speaking to L'Equipe, Mangala said: "On Friday at the club, we did some tests, simple ones. I didn't have any symptoms, I was just like every day.

"So, when Sunday morning the doctor told me I was positive, I was shocked. I thought it was a joke at first. But when he talked about quarantine, for 14 days, staying away from my kids, I understood it wasn’t a joke."

Mangala, who confirmed he had contracted coronavirus in a social media post to his followers at the start of the week, went on to detail how he has managed to maintain a training routine within the family premises.

"I'm quarantined at home. I’m lucky, I have a house where my family can remain isolated," he explained.

"There is one floor where I stay, and my family is upstairs. We’re trying to avoid each other as much as possible.

"My day is simple: I don’t have any symptoms, so I can continue to train. They [Valencia] gave us a schedule. 

"With a mask, I go out in my garden to keep training. And then I watch documentaries, movies, I play video games. There’s Netflix, I read as well."

Spain is the second-most affected country in Europe by the coronavirus pandemic, with 11,178 reported cases and 491 deaths.

La Liga has suspended all fixtures indefinitely as the battle to contain the outbreak continues, with the remaining major leagues across Europe all following the same protocols.

The Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 have all closed their doors until April, while it has been widely reported that Euro 2020 is set to be pushed back until next year.