Asmir Begovic has compared Milan to “a movie scene” as the city deals with the effects of the Italian Coronavirus lockdown.
The 6ft 6in, 32-year-old Bosnian international goal-keeper is currently on loan to the Italian Serie A’s AC Milan from AFC Bournemouth. And he’s not enjoying life ‘one little bit” right now
Northern Italy was initially plunged into quarantine on March 8 before measures were extended across the entire country in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19.
To date, Italy is the worst-affected country outside China. On March 16 it had reported 24,747 confirmed cases and 1,809 deaths.
Serie A has been suspended until April and Milan has cancelled its team training sessions until further notice.
Bad news for Begovic
But here’s some bad news for Begovic he didn’t know about; Italian Football’ Association (AIC) president Damiano Tommasi, doesn’t believe the Serie A season can resume until May or June – “If all goes well.”
‘When we talk about football, people think we are only ensuring the safety of players, but there’s a whole world behind the team.
“The first to be contaminated were in Serie C with Pianese – and their kit man is still in intensive care. Juventus have 100 people under quarantine.
“These are people who travel all around Italy and Europe, meeting many, many people during the course of their work. The problem is not just Italian, its European, so UEFA have to behave like the European Union should. Matches should be suspended.”
Milan is affectively a ghost town
Getting back to Begovic; together with all the other factors in the lockdown, he admits, life is not easy. He’s finding it difficult to adjust to living in a formerly bustling city that has effectively become a ghost town
He told the Mirror: “The streets are deserted. The only thing open are supermarkets. You can get a little bit of food here and there and then it’s straight back to your home. It’s crazy.
“People have said it’s like a movie scene and it really is. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I’m not sure people understand how bad it is here.
“It’s hit the country really hard. You feel for the country, with its many deaths and people being infected. It’s devastating and heart-breaking for everyone.
“Now we are even seeing fellow players from other clubs getting it and it feels like a nightmare. You can only hope that everything goes back to normal as soon as possible.”
Milan’s last match played behind closed doors
Milan’s last match before the league was postponed was a 2-1 defeat to Genoa, which was played behind closed doors at San Siro.
Begovic, who says he “did not enjoy the experience at all”, says he’s now just waiting to hear when training resumes. So far no Milan players having yet tested positive for COVID-19
“There was a debate as to whether we should play at all. We played behind closed doors, which wasn’t a great experience at all,” he said.
“Then the next day we went in and then everything was shut down. It happened so quickly. This week has been the climax.
“Then you’re in lockdown. The whole city is in lockdown, no restaurants past 6pm and now everything’s closed. It literally happened so quickly, one step after another.
No one has tested positive in Milan
“We’re not training now. We’re not due back until the 23rd [of March] at the moment but that looks as if it might get changed and extended.
“No-one has tested positive at Milan. Now they’ve sent us away and said: ‘We’ll see you when we see you’.
“It’s so strange not being able to train. You try to do other things but there’s only so much Netflix you can watch.
I try to keep busy, I’m trying to record some podcasts, keep myself ticking over. I’m trying to not to let it get down too much and patiently wait for normality to resume.”
Milan is seventh in Serie A
When Serie A was postponed, AC Milan with 10 wins, 10 defeats, 6 draws and 36 points were sitting in 7th place in the 20-team league.
Juventus (26-20-3) with 63 points were top of the log with Lazio (26-19-5) just one point behind. Inter-Milan were a distant 3rd with 54 points and Atlanta 4th with 48 points.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) March 11, 2020