Coronavirus isolation: Man United stars praise young goalkeeper as solo training session goes viral
With almost all football postponed for the next month because of the coronavirus pandemic, star players have found themselves at a loose end.
With many training grounds off limits, clubs have sent footballers home, where they’re adhering to an isolation period for the next few weeks. How are they passing the time?
ESPN will be keeping a daily eye on what the world’s best are getting up to, as well as how clubs are keeping busy by battling in online competitions against each other.
Being a goalkeeper in isolation can be tough, as it can be difficult to keep your handling skills honed with nobody to fire shots at you.
Thankfully, this little shot-stopper came up with an ingenious solution while playing on his own in the backyard.
When you’re a goalkeeper… and an only child… in self isolation… and trying to keep up with your training… 😂😂came up with this himself! I’m so impressed. #coronavirus #StayHomeStaySafe pic.twitter.com/FFzJ1LE3N1
— Sarah-Jayne Tobin (@TheSJTobin) March 23, 2020
Impressed by the youngster’s dedication, it wasn’t long before some big-name admirers began to emerge.
Watford goalie Ben Foster was among the first to contact the young “legend,” even offering to put on a virtual training session for his new protege.
What a legend!!!! I don’t know how we’re gonna be able to do it but I’m gonna have to put a training session on for ya!!!! Keep going mate I love it👌👌👍👍👏👏
— Ben Foster (@BenFoster) March 23, 2020
Very impressive 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
— Tom Heaton (@TomHeatonGK) March 24, 2020
Love it! 💪🏼😍 https://t.co/Xmdp3ZDXf6
— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) March 23, 2020
There were even messages from bona fide Premier League greats, with Peter Schmeichel voicing his approval.
Nothing, not even an evil virus like the CONVID-19 should stop a talented goalkeeper from working on getting better. Well done young man👏👏 https://t.co/0od38Z2EMt
— Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) March 23, 2020
Everton legend Neville Southall also chimed in with some key goalkeeping advice.
Keep practicing till u don’t let any in
— Neville Southall (@NevilleSouthall) March 23, 2020
Soon the offers of VIP drills were flooding in, with Juan Mata promising to send a few free kicks in the kid’s direction once nationwide isolation is lifted.
One day, if he wants, and when all this is over, I would like to practice my freeckicks with him on goal! What do you think? 🙌 https://t.co/Brl6omumf4
— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) March 23, 2020
The folks at Adidas even promised to provide a fresh new batch of kit for the occasion.
— adidas UK (@adidasUK) March 23, 2020
Who would have thought that such a wholesome clip could lead to such big and exciting things?
Elsewhere … Bale sneaks a bit of golf into isolation, Chicharito’s Amazon woe
To the surprise of precisely no one, the Real Madrid star managed to weave a round of golf into his #StayAtHomeChallenge by chipping a ball into a hole he managed to rig up in his living room using toilet paper.
My amazon account has been blocked now for a week during this crisis. This is the 3rd time my account has been blocked. No one seems to be able to help over the phone and the service i have been receiving is not helpful. @amazon
— Chicharito Hernandez (@CH14_) March 23, 2020
Isolated at home and attempting to shop for supplies online, the LA Galaxy striker was annoyed to discover that his Amazon account had been blocked — and not for the first time.
Defying his curmudgeonly reputation, Mourinho volunteered his services to aid his local community, delivering food and provisions to elderly people in Enfield, north London.
The Spurs boss was photographed helping out at a community centre, helping dole out parcels on behalf of Age UK.
As you might expect, the global pandemic is not preventing Ronaldo and his family from maintaining their flawless fitness regimes.
Indeed, Katia Aveiro, Ronaldo’s sister, shared a photo on Instagram of the entire clan posing hard in their home gym.
“We continue the fight, at home, as a family, looking after our body and mind,” she wrote.
No prizes for guessing who had the most flesh on display.
Elsewhere, Inter Milan midfielder Candreva was busy conducting his own acrobatic home workout with a little help from his partner, Allegra Luna — and a guest cameo from their young toddler.
Bayern circumvented quarantine rules by holding a virtual training session for their players online, with the entire squad limbering up “together” while maintaining impeccable social distance.
Anthony Martial took it all off 🪒 pic.twitter.com/34HW4bhQCH
— utdreport (@utdreport) March 23, 2020
In desperate need of a trim, Martial decided to begin his stint in quarantine by shaving off all of his hair — drawing even more attention to those piercing eyes.
— England (@England) March 24, 2020
After new Major League Soccer franchise Inter Miami highlighted the importance of social distancing by introducing a temporary change to their club crest, English football’s governing body soon followed suit by tweaking England’s famous three lions in similar fashion.