London: Former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has said he was unable to breathe for 25 minutes while struggling with coronavirus symptoms in what he describes as “endless minutes of fear”.
In a Sky Sports report, the Aston Villa goalkeeper — on loan from AC Milan — said it was a scary situation. “The most difficult moment was when I could no longer breathe, the 25 minutes I ran out of oxygen. It was the worst moment of my life,” he told Corriere dello Sport.
Reina began self-isolating after falling sick last month.
“I was very tired after experiencing the first symptoms of the virus. A fever, dry cough and a headache that never left me — it was just that constant feeling of tiredness.
“The only real fear I had was when I understood that there was no oxygen: endless minutes of fear, as if suddenly my throat had closed.
“As a result, I spent the first six or eight days indoors. I am winning the battle against coronavirus now.”
All football in England has been suspended until at least April 30.
Reina’s club Aston Villa are in the Premier League relegation zone.
“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.
“Football cannot be a priority right now. It is not important to finish this league. I know and am aware of all the interests that exist around soccer, especially economic ones.
“But there are also many other areas, and right now the first thing is people’s health.”