The Italy international midfielder recognised the severity of the situation early on after seeing events unfold in his home country
Marco Verratti says he misses the daily routine of training with his friends and team-mates at Paris Saint-Germain, but he understands the importance of staying at home.
With his home country ahead of France in its coronavirus timeline, the Italy international says he was taking precautions early on – and was trying to self-isolate even before PSG played Borussia Dortmund on March 11.
Verratti is taking the opportunity of the extra time afforded to him to spend time with his family, and finding a more varied workout routine to keep himself in top condition.
“I’m fine, everything’s fine,” Verratti told Le Parisien. “The confinement is hard for everybody but I try to find the positives, to take advantage of being with my family a little more. I try to do things that I didn’t do much before.
“I’m working every day. I might even be working a bit more than I did before! Before, with the matches, we didn’t have a lot of time to train or to heal when he had little issues.
“We [the PSG squad] have been talking a lot, we keep up to date, we swap news. It’s normal, we are used to being together every day. It is true that training is a routine but we spent the days together with our friends and I really miss that now.”
PSG’s Champions League win over Dortmund in March was the last game they played, and it took place behind closed doors.
Players celebrated in front of fans who had gathered outside the Parc des Princes after the game, but the true atmosphere of a home game was missing.
“It feels like it has been a year since we played in our stadium with our supporters! I miss a lot of feelings; the one after a goal, or after a win,” he added. “Italy is a few weeks ahead of France. A few days before the match against Dortmund, I was never going out.
“It may not seem like it is serious, but when this disease affects you, it is very serious. You have to be careful and think about your family, because when you go out, you endanger your parents and your children.
“We all have a great responsibility. You have to show that you are strong. In Italy, like in France, we are very united in difficult times. Every evening at 8pm, people applaud those who are the real heroes, who are working 12, 15, 18 hours a day, endangering themselves and their families. They do wonderful work.”