MADRID (XINHUA) – The three-month break in La Liga due to the coronavirus has been a source of frustration for many, but for some players, the forced stoppage has allowed them a second chance to compete when nobody expected them to.
FC Barcelona’s Uruguayan striker, Luis Suarez is a perfect example of the coronavirus cloud bringing a slight silver lining.
Suarez had an operation on his knee on January 12 and was expected to be sidelined for between four and five months, meaning he would almost certainly have missed the rest of the campaign.
He had scored 17 goals before his operation and Barca coach Quique Setien had struggled to find a replacement for him, especially as Ousmane Dembele also suffered a serious muscle injury.
The three-month break has allowed Suarez to work first in the gym and then at home and he is now training with the rest of the Barca squad and should be fully fit for Barca’s return to action away to Mallorca on June 13. Another player whose campaign looked to be in ruins without even kicking a ball in anger was Real Madrid’s Spain international, Marcos Asensio. Asensio broke his cruciate ligaments in pre-season and was expected to miss the whole campaign and the European Championships this summer.
However, he is now back to full training and his return to action could be vital for Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, who has seen how at times a lack of goals has hampered his side’s title challenge.
Meanwhile, the postponement of the European Championships until 2021 also gives Asensio the chance to stake a claim for a tournament he would otherwise have missed out on.
A third player who can now finish season rather than watching from the sidelines is Athletic Club Bilbao’s versatile Oscar de Marcos who was out after an ankle operation. De Marcos has now recovered for Athletic Club’s last 11 games, although his return to action is bitter-sweet as the club’s veteran striker Aritz Aduriz was forced to draw the curtain on his long career a fortnight ago after announcing he needed a hip replacement operation.