Christian Eriksen describes living under lockdown in Italy, not touching a football for seven weeks and why he had to leave Tottenham Hotspur for Inter.
Serie A clubs are allowed to go back into training from this week, as Italy moves into Phase Two of the coronavirus pandemic response.
“I’ve been running around the parking lot basement and calculated I can run 35 metres, then have to take a turn and run 35 metres back,” Eriksen told Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten.
“I haven’t touched the ball in seven weeks. It’s been the longest period without football in my life and I really am starting to miss it.”
As he had just moved from Tottenham Hotspur in January, Eriksen didn’t have a house to live in yet and spent lockdown in an Inter building.
“I thought of talking to Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young, but they already had families to look after, and 14 days sleeping on someone’s sofa is too long.
“Instead, I ended up staying at the club’s training structure with a chef and five members of staff who chose to quarantine themselves in order to protect their families.”
Eriksen has been spending his downtime learning Italian, building Lego and watching Netflix, but ran into trouble during a drive in Milan.
“The police stopped me and in my rather bad Italian I had to explain what I was doing, where I was going and why I was out the house. I’ve never had so much free time and you can’t even really go shopping. We can’t complain, as it’s far more difficult for many others, but it is so different to the life we are accustomed to.
“We do follow the training schedule sent by the club and their diet plans too, but you have to make do.”
Eriksen’s Inter career had barely begun when the lockdown occurred, so he made only four Serie A appearances, two in the Europa League and two in the Coppa Italia.
“It seemed the right move for me, as they were very eager to sign me, and that’s important for a player to know he is wanted. It meant they would’ve done anything to bring me in.
“Some Tottenham fans got angry when I said in a BBC interview that I had a better chance of winning something at Inter, but that is the truth, there are many stronger teams in England.
“There will always be people at Spurs who are angry with me, but the vast majority of fans were positive and I liked playing for that club. I met some lovely people and have fond memories.
“I would’ve liked to leave in different circumstances, but that’s not how football works.”