Spain defender Diego Llorente spoke on Saturday about his relief at being allowed to return to the squad for the European Championships after a COVID-19 scare.
He also let out his feelings when it looked as if he was going to miss the tournament after returning a positive test result on Tuesday night.
The Leeds United player has since tested negative three times, which means his positive test was almost certainly a ‘false’ result.
He is now back with the rest of the squad, but he explained about the feelings he had in the past few days.
“It was complicated,” he admitted. “I didn’t even know what to think.
“At night, I hardly slept and kept thinking how I could have been infected, because we have a pretty strict control.
“I had not been in very close contact with (Sergio) Busquets (who tested positive two days earlier) and could not quite find an explanation for it.”
“The first hours were devastating. I thought I was going to miss out (on the Euros) for something I couldn’t control.
“I was frustrated, but I had to accept it like a lot of other people have done and fortunately I didn’t have any symptoms. So, I tried to stay positive,” he said at a press conference.
Llorente highlighted his gratitude to the medical staff with the Spanish Football Federation.
He also said he had been in contact with Busquets, who is currently in isolation in Barcelona.
“He gave me all his support when I tested positive, he helped me a lot and we all hope he will be able to rejoin the group as soon as possible,” he said.
Finally, Llorente explained his feelings after being told he didn’t have the virus as his companions formed a guard of honour when he returned to the squad.
“It is one of the most special things which have happened to me and I will never forget it. The welcome shows how united we are.
“These have been difficult days for everyone and the whole team has been very united,” he added.
Saturday also saw the 17 players who were called into a parallel “training bubble” in case of more cases of COVID-19 in the Spain squad go home.
This was after fears of further positive tests receded.(Xinhua/NAN)