Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta shares coronavirus ordeal saying 'it all happened so fast' as he emerges from quarantine

Arteta will not yet return to the pitch but says he is feeling much better (PA Images)
22:28pm, Tue 24 Mar 2020
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Mikel Arteta has spoken out for the first time about his battle with coronavirus after completing his time in quarantine.

The 37-year-old Spaniard became the first high-profile member of the football community to test positive to the virus, prompting the Premier League to suspend fixtures for the foreseeable future.

Speaking to Spanish television channel La Sexta, Arteta revealed he was feeling back to normal but that the journey had not been easy.

"I'm very well now, I feel that I have recovered," he said. "It took me three or four days to start feeling much better and with more energy, to leave the symptoms behind and now, the truth is that I feel very well."

He admitted he first became aware of feeling unwell following the Gunners' Europa League game against Olympiakos at the end of February and from there 'everything happened so fast'.

"On the Tuesday afternoon I was feeling so-so and I went to see the doctor but he wasn't there.

"I got a call from the board of directors [on the Sunday] after training while I was in my car and they told me that the president of Olympiakos had tested positive and everyone that had been in contact was at risk," he continued.

"I went on to tell them that I wasn't feeling well and that we had a situation because we had lots of players that had been in contact with them [Olympiakos]."

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He admitted the safety and health of others was his main priority at this time.

"We had a game against Manchester City the next day and obviously we couldn't put lots of people at risk without saying anything," he said.

"Obviously all those who had been in contact with me had to go into quarantine, and consequently games had to be suspended."

Arteta was due to return to the training ground with his Arsenal side on Wednesday, in line with the completion of his 14 day quarantine, but in light of the pandemic, this has been delayed.

A statement from the club said: "As a result of the current situation, we are clear it would be inappropriate and irresponsible to ask players to come back at this time.

"Therefore our men's first team, women and academy players are all remaining at home.

"Stay at home and save lives."