Pepe Reina has revealed he struggled to breathe for 25 minutes while dealing with coronavirus symptoms in what he described as a “real scare”.
The Aston Villa goalkeeper – on loan from AC Milan – began self-isolating after falling ill last month.
The 37-year-old recalled the frightening moment he lacked oxygen and says he is now recovering from the virus.
“I was isolated after the first symptoms of the virus – fever, a dry cough, a headache that would never leave, a sense of fatigue,” he told Corriere dello Sport.
“The only real scare was when I was missing oxygen for 25 minutes, just like my throat suddenly closed up and the air could not go through it.
“I spent the first six to eight days locked up in a room. I’m getting out of it now.”
English football is suspended until at least April 30 and, with Villa in the Premier League relegation zone, Reina insists football should take a back seat while countries across the world fight against the deadly disease.
“Everyone’s wellbeing goes above anything else,” he said. “I will be a supporter of playing when everything is in the best conditions, that everyone is safe.
“We have to be careful when talking about dates or deadlines. I understand that there are economic interests and a lot at stake, but as in any other sector.
“There’s no point in playing without fans. People have to enjoy it. We feel more fulfilled with fans. Beyond that, whatever is healthier and safer will be done.”
By Sky Sports