Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva says footballers “all terrified of the virus” after fleeing the French capital to return to his native Brazil.
Thiago Silva, 35, made the comments via a video link on the Faixa Especial programme broadcast by Brazil’s SporTV channel to explain the reasons for his return to Rio de Janeiro and try to alert Brazilians about the dangers of the coronavirus.
He said: “I arrived yesterday (Wednesday) after a rather quiet flight. Here (in Rio de Janeiro), I am in quarantine, it is a situation which is not easy but human beings have a remarkable capacity of adaptation.”
He also said: “How will I keep myself in shape? It’s going to be as complicated in Paris as it is here. In Paris, the training centres have closed, the club too. And in Brazil, they just made the same decision.”
He added: “We’re not on holiday. It’s a moment of reflection. We’re all terrified by what’s going on. […] President Macron drew inspiration from the situation in Italy to take containment measures.
“But, even being attentive to what was happening in this neighbouring country, France has not really managed to protect itself. In Brazil, we may still have time. I hope that the crisis will not be as violent as in Europe. It is our hope. I hope that people will become aware of the seriousness of the situation as soon as possible.
“I hope the beaches are going to empty. These are not school holidays. It’s a moment of reflection. You have to stay at home hoping that everything will come back to normal as soon as possible.”
Netizens however seemed sceptical, with ‘sakado44’ saying: “For sure, with Bolsonaro who thought just four days ago that it was a set-up or even a fantasy; Brazil and its millions of poor people crammed in the favelas will fare better than the others…”
And ‘CurkoVert’ said: “This attitude on the part of T Silva (and the others… Mendes; Neymar… etc) makes no sense. Does he know that Bolsonaro has made no decisions about the virus? He is even in denial. Would he have left for Brazil if the training sessions were not suspended? Even far away from the favelas, the risk is great and even greater than in France. He should stop the double talk.”
Brazil has fewer than 10 deaths from the coronavirus so far but it has recently closed its borders in a bid to contain the virus in the coming weeks.
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