Juventus and Argentina forward Paulo Dybala has discussed his struggle with the coronavirus after suffering “strong” symptoms after he became one of the highest-profile footballers to be infected with the deadly disease.
Dybala, 26, became the third Juventus player to test positive for Covid-19 last weekend, after Italian defender Daniele Rugani and French midfielder Blaise Matuidi were also confirmed to have the illness.
Dybala’s girlfriend, Argentine singer Oriana Sabatini, also contracted Covid-19 and while the pair initially showed mild symptoms, Dybala has now revealed just how severe his illness became, despite not being deemed among the groups at highest risk of danger.
“I developed strong symptoms,” Dybala told the Juventus TV channel. “Now I can move better, walking and trying to train. [But] I could hardly breathe, I couldn’t do anything after five minutes. My muscles ached.
“Fortunately, Oriana and I are better now,” he added.
Italy remains among the nations hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 85,000 cases and over 9,000 deaths.
Friday was the country’s deadliest day in its battle with the virus as 919 deaths from the illness were recorded.
World health chiefs have warned that while Covid-19 takes the most toll on the elderly, those young and healthy should not consider themselves “invincible” – with Dybala’s strong symptoms illustrative of the strain it can place on even the fittest of athletes.
The Italian Serie A – like leagues around Europe – remains suspended with no return date in sight as the pandemic rages on.