Mikel Arteta has spoken out about the fear he had at the thought of passing on the deadly coronavirus disease to people he’d been in contact with.
On March 11, Arsenal’s rearranged clash with Manchester City was postponed after the club learned that people inside the club had met with Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who had contracted COVID-19.
Twenty-four hours later, Arsenal revealed Arteta had tested positive for the virus and he was placed in self-isolation.
The Spaniard said he took the test after “feeling poorly” but two weeks on, he is now fully recovered.
However, there will be no football in England for the foreseeable future as the world gets to grips with the outbreak.
Speaking in an interview with Arsenal.com, Arteta opened up about the events leading up to his positive test and dealing with the disease, which has taken the lives of thousands of people around the world.
“I am feeling completely recovered [now], it’s true I started having some symptoms when we got the phone call from the club to let us know that we might be exposed to the virus because of the owner of Olympiacos and in that moment… I don’t know, I felt something within me, that I had it,” Arteta told Arsenal Player.
“We had a game the following day against Manchester City, so I made a decision and called the doctor straight away and I asked him to drive home.
“I spoke with Raul, Edu, Vinai, Huss and we set up a meeting together and I said, ‘Listen, we have a couple of players that have been exposed. There is a massive risk there and as well I am the first one feeling the symptoms, very clear symptoms.
“So if that is the case, all of the players and the people related to the club who are in contact with me on a daily basis are exposed.
“So we cannot make that decision, we have to speak to the Premier League, to Manchester City and we have to make the decision pretty quickly.’
“Then you realise, ‘Wow, everybody can be exposed here, this is very serious’ and you start to think about the people that you’ve been in contact with and the other people that can be related to us. That’s when a bit of fear comes.
“In terms of symptoms, it was a normal virus for me.
“I had three or four days which were a little bit difficult, with a bit of a temperature and a dry cough, and some discomfort in my chest. That was it.
“The difficulty is that I have people at home, three kids as well and I was worried.
“My missus has been through it and my nanny’s been through it. Thank God, the kids never got it. We are all completely fine now.”