Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud has expressed his satisfaction over returning to the field for training after a suspension of more than two months due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re working hard and it really feels good to be back on the pitch, to get to see team-mates again and to simply be playing football, kicking the ball and scoring goals again,” Giroud said as quoted on the official website of Chelsea.
“I’d really missed it a lot. That being said, it’s very unique but it’s fine and spirits are high,” he added.
The 2018 World Cup winner with France revealed the differences that the players have had to acclimatize to after resuming training. After starting with individual training, the players have been gradually allowed to participate in group training.
In the ‘Stage Two’ guidance issued by the United Kingdom government in the last month, the athletes were allowed to resume “close-contact” and “competitive” group training with fellow athletes or teammates.
“There are quite a lot of differences,” Giroud reveals. “We’ve been working in groups of five and then we need to maintain a two-metre minimum social distance between each other, meaning no contact.
“Something else that’s changed compared to usual pre-seasons is that we only get 15 minutes of treatment after training. Normally in pre-season, you’re very demanding with your muscles and use them a lot, especially when you haven’t been training for over two months.
“Muscles strain and creak but we respect the rules from the Government and the Premier League. I’ll admit that if I could have more care and treatment to look after my body, it would be better.
“For all the running alone, nothing replaces being on the pitch – direction changes, accelerations, stop-and-go moves. Almost all my team-mates got blisters after resuming training but it’s pure joy to be back on the pitch,” the 33-year-old added.
Meanwhile, the government on Saturday gave the Premier League the approval to resume the 2019-20 season on June 17 but asserted that all the health guidelines and social distancing measures be strongly adhered to.