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Juventus' Rugani feels 'lucky' after coronavirus diagnosis

17:33 WAT 16/03/2020
DanieleRugani - cropped
The defender is on the mend after testing positive for Covid-19 and enjoying Peaky Blinders and Harry Potter during his downtime

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani considers himself "lucky" to have raised awareness of the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rugani tested positive for Covid-19 last week – one of the key events in prompting a near-total shutdown of elite football across Europe.

As well as the Juve star a total of 11 Serie A players have been diagnosed with the illness, with Fiorentina defender German Pezzella and Sampdoria pair Fabio Depaoli and Bartosz Bereszynski recently confirmed as patients.

Serie A is suspended until April 3 and a UEFA video conference on Tuesday will see clubs and national associations discuss how best to proceed with the Champions League, Europa League, Euro 2020 and domestic competitions amid the ongoing crisis.

In an interview with Juventus' in-house television channel, Rugani reported he had not suffered severe symptoms – such as respiratory problems – associated with the most serious cases of Covid-19.

"I want to reassure everyone by saying that I am fine," he said. "I have always been quite well. I have not had the serious symptoms mentioned.

"I consider myself lucky even if it was a heavy blow also because I was the first in our environment [and] served to raise the awareness of all those who had not understood the seriousness of the problem."

Rugani revealed he had been passing his time in isolation by watching drama series Peaky Blinders and reading the Harry Potter novels to improve his English, although he conceded being forced to spend time apart from his family was tough.

Asked what he had missed most from everyday life, the 25-year-old replied: "Embracing my loved ones.

"I am alone in the hotel and I will have to stay a little longer. The isolation is long and boring, for me as for everyone, so as soon as I go out, I will go to the people I miss and love."

Italy is the European country most affected by coronavirus, with 24,747 confirmed cases and 1,809 deaths.

The government has imposed strict lockdown measures, with public events and gatherings banned and all shops apart from food stores and pharmacies closed.