'I thought coronavirus was a joke '


Valencia defender Eliaquim Mangala admits he was in denial when he first heard that he contracted COVID-19.

Mangala, 29, is one of six players in the Valencia first-team squad with the virus and has since been kept in self-isolation.

According to Worldometer, the number of infected people has grown to 205 642 people, with around 8272 deaths and 82  892 recoveries as of Wednesday.

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The former Manchester City player said that he had no symptoms when he went for a medical check-up, which confused him when he tested positive.

"On Friday at the club, we did some tests, simple ones. I didn't have any symptoms, I was just like every day," he told French publication, L'Equipe. "So, when Sunday morning the doctor told me I was positive, I was shocked.

"I thought it was a joke at first. But when he talked about quarantine, for 14 days, staying away from my kids, I understood it wasn’t a joke."

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Scroll through the gallery below to see the players who have contracted COVID-19

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The France international went on to add how he'd spend his time during the period of self-isolation away from his loved ones and teammates.

"There is one floor where I stay, and my family is upstairs. We're trying to avoid each other as much as possible," Mangala explained.

"My day is simple: I don’t have any symptoms, so I can continue to train. They [Valencia] gave us a schedule.

"With a mask, I go out in my garden to keep training. And then I watch documentaries, movies, I play video games. There’s Netflix, I read as well."