While the Minister of Sports announced three days ago that the Italian government will decide on May 28 if the Italian championship can resume and when, Jordan Veretout, 27, the midfielder of AS Rome (24 Serie games In this season (22 as holder), evokes his daily life punctuated by training in small groups. He also talks about moments of exchange and sharing with family and about life resuming its course in the transalpine capital.
How do you live the uncertainty hanging over a possible resumption of Serie A?
JORDAN VERETOUT. Before planning for this deadline, we are already suspended from the authorities’ green light to participate in collective sessions. Then, of course, we would like to be determined about the championship. Everything will depend, I am well aware, on the evolution of the contagion curve of the coronavirus. It is therefore difficult to have a precise date. But, on a daily basis, the lack of visibility is burdensome and a source of frustration.
Do the clubs’ desire to restart the championship around mid-June seem realistic to you?
The president of the Italian players’ union has asked that the players have at least four weeks of full leg training before the restart. I share this opinion. In Rome, even during confinement, we still followed a maintenance program based in particular on races and sheathing. The club did not skimp on the means to offer us the best possible conditions of preparation. It’s the same for other clubs. The period of one month therefore seems sufficient to me not to expose myself to the risk of injury. The health of the players must always prevail. We all keep that in mind.
How do you explain that sports bodies and public authorities are struggling to find a ground for consensus?
I am a football player. It is not for me to decide on these subjects. The situation is already complex enough. I stick to the instructions issued by my club. I focus on my job. I try to move forward like this
Would you be in favor of playoffs to end the season?
We hear a lot these days. If this formula is chosen, why not. In my opinion, the best solution would be to go to the end of the competition and compete in the last 12 days. We will adapt. We also have in mind the Europa League with a double confrontation against Sevilla FC. Due to the spread of the epidemic, we were unable to make it to Spain for the round of 16 one leg. We made the wisest decision.
Besides, wasn’t it unreasonable to have allowed the Atalanta-Valencia match in Milan to be held in February in the presence of the supporters?
Totally. The virus was then able to spread very quickly in Lombardy. It is anything but a coincidence that the city of Bergamo found itself in the heart of the pandemic with a dramatic number of deaths. It was pure madness to have allowed the public to attend this meeting.
Do you worry about the positive cases registered in different Serie A clubs like Sampdoria or Parma?
Everyone is affected. Athletes are not spared. The virus does not stop at the doors of the locker room. One applies to respect the measures of distancing and to observe the barrier gestures. There is not much more you can do to protect yourself. We are not safe, of course. You can go shopping and be in the wrong place at the wrong time by contracting the disease…
What did you think of the resumption of the Bundesliga?
It was a little strange. Already, to see these empty stadiums, this absence of celebration, these detentions after a goal. Football is about emotions to be shared with the public. We are not there to play between us.
Italy was one of the countries in the world most affected by the epidemic. Have you been afraid for your health or that of your loved ones?
Not for me in any case. For my wife, my children certainly. I had to call my family in France every day. From the start of containment, small (Editor’s note: Aalyah, and Kaylie aged 5 and 2) why we had to stay at home, why I was there all day. The early days were fine. We were doing drawings. We organized a treasure hunt. But after two or three weeks, it became more complicated not to go out. The elder even said to me one day before going into the garden: “Daddy, is there the beast outside?” I replied, “Yes, but you can’t see it, it’s a little beast in the air.” »A few days ago, we were able to go a little in front of our house so that she could ride a scooter. It was Christmas for her in May. She was radiant.
Life resumes its course a little in Rome?
Rome, a city always crowded, lively and happy, was almost dead. Frozen. It looked like a disaster film. There it restarts. I can already see it in my neighborhood. It’s obvious. Usually there is always noise and animation. In March and April, when I was in the garden with my daughters, there was a feeling of emptiness, of nothing. It was weird, but we lived with it. Now, there is again passage, people are walking. I’m even happy to see the cars pass by again. It’s good for morale.
If you maintain your level with AS Rome next season can you claim Euro 2021?
The Blues remain a goal. They are in the corner of my head. I have already received presets. I am lucky to play in one of the biggest Italian clubs. I must continue to perform well in order to pretend to be called one day. There is still a long way to go, but why not. If I were to be called, it would be one of the happiest days of my life as a footballer.