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“My birthday today is one of those I'll remember for a lifetime. For a different, for a strange and, why not say it, for a sad reason. Since last Thursday, March 12, when we held our last training session with Barça B at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, I have been confined to my house in Sant Joan Despí, alone and without company. My parents and my brothers are in Budva (Montenegro), as well as my girlfriend.
Today I received the first calls to congratulate me, and one of those calls was very special, from my nephew Marko, the son of my brother Milan, who is one year old. I had a video call on WhatsApp in which I was able to see his baby face. It was very exciting. Daily contact with my family is the best vitamin to overcome this lonely situation that many people are experiencing because of confinement. We don't know how long it will last or how it will end, but what I am very clear about is that, if we stay at home and listen to the health authorities, we will overcome this.
The situation is worrying. Every day I follow the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic both in Spain and in my country with concern. At the moment, Montenegro is the only European country that doesn't have registered cases, although there are people under surveillance and the government has applied emergency measures such as the suspension of classes in schools and universities, and other preventive measures as of today. We are on the way, as in Spain, to decree a state of emergency. My country has prohibited travel to Spain as well as the people entering from Spain. If I wanted to go back now, they would let enter as a Montenegrin citizen, but they would put me in 14-day isolation.
You will understand, therefore, why I am connected every hour to the online newspapers in my country or to television stations to see how the situation is progressing. It is for this reason that I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all the health personnel and all those people, such as pharmacists, supermarket clerks or drivers of public transport and supplies, who are still working to combat the coronavirus, in these difficult times. Thank you all for your effort.
How did I spend my 21st birthday? Alone. What a strange situation, right. I got up early, I spoke, as I said, with my family, I answered the congratulations of friends and teammates and before 1.00pm CET, as our physical trainers indicated yesterday, I completed the strength exercise session that was needed for today. After the session, I had a good shower and I ate. Alone. Without anybody. No birthday cake. No candles. Just a good pasta dish with shrimp and fruit. In the afternoon I will talk to my family again, I will play a game on the PlayStation, FIFA 2020 with a friend, and I will watch some more of La Casa de Papel to stay up to date before the fourth season begins on April 3.
I know that the most important thing at the moment is the health of the entire population, but for us football players, it is a very difficult situation due to the uncertainty it creates. We try to keep in shape, we take care of our diet, but we are very worried not knowing what will happen to the league. Will we finish the championship? What will happen to the Euro 21 qualifying phase?
I was due to play in a match with Montenegro on Tuesday, March 31 in the Faroe Islands, which has been suspended. It's the same group that includes the Spanish U21 team. But now, as I say, this is all secondary. The important thing is to stay home and comply with the recommendations of the health authorities. This match will be overcome by all of us. And I have no doubt that we are going to win it.
A hug to all and see you soon at the Estadi Johan Cruyff!”
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