Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina has reflected on the 'endless minutes of fear' he experienced when he 'ran out of oxygen', after the Spanish star recently contracted symptoms of the coronavirus.
The 37-year-old is now recovering after undergoing a period of self-isolation, but the shot-stopper delivered a chilling message over the severity of the illness, and gave his opinion on how football should proceed in the future.
Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Reina admitted that he 'ran out of oxygen' for 25 minutes, and felt as if his 'throat had closed,' as he attempted to overcome the virus.
"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 said.
"I don't miss the company as it's me, my wife Yolanda, five children and two in-laws. The house is big and loneliness has no access to my home.
"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."
The on-loan Villa star also discussed the impact that the coronavirus has had upon the football calendar, and he insisted that the sport 'takes a backseat', and he 'will be a supporter of playing when everything is in the best conditions, that everyone is safe.'
"Football takes a back seat," he said.
"I don't care much, really. Everyone's well-being goes above anything else. 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.
"April 30 as an option for the Premier League to return seems to me that it will not be a real date and I think we are going to go much further.
"But it will be time that dictates the moment. When we are all safe it will be time to take action and set dates. So far, it is useless to talk and predict any return option."
We all wish Reina the very best and a speedy recovery to full health.
Source : 90min