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Mikel Arteta reveals the ‘moment’ he suspected he had contracted coronavirus

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has lifted the lid on the moment he suspected he had contracted coronavirus but reassured fans that he has since made a full recovery and he and his family are all ‘completely fine now’.

The Gunners were forced to shut down their London Colney and Hale End training bases after Arteta tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month and players were told to self-isolate to help curb the spread of the virus.

Less than a week later, all English football was suspended until April 30 at the earliest and there remains uncertainty over how the remainder of the 2019/20 season will be played out.

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Arteta feared the worst when he heard the news about Marinakis (Picture: Arsenal FC)

There were fears for Arteta and the rest of Arsenal’s squad after it was announced that Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis had tested positive for coronavirus on March 11.

Marinakis reportedly shook hands with a first-team member of Arsenal’s squad when Olympiacos faced the Gunners at the Emirates and Arteta feared the worst when he heard learned about the Greek’s diagnosis.

‘I’m feeling completely recovered. It’s true I started having symptoms,’ Arteta said in an interview with Arsenal’s official website.

‘We got the phone call from the club to let us know that we might have been exposed to the virus because of the owner of Olympiacos and in that moment I felt something within me that I had it.

‘We had a game the following day against Manchester City so I made the decision to call the doctor straight away and I asked him to drive home.

‘I spoke with Raul [Sanllehi], Edu, Vinai [Venkatesham], Huss [Fahmy] and we set up a meeting together and I said, “Listen, we have a couple of players that have been exposed. There is a massive risk there and as well I am the first one feeling the symptoms, very clear symptoms, so if that’s the case then all the players and all the people related the club that are in contact with me on a daily basis are exposed. So we cannot make that decision. We have to speak to the Premier League, to Manchester City and we have to make the decision pretty quickly”.

Evangelos Marinakis has recovered after testing positive for COVID-19 (Picture: Getty)

On just how quickly the situation accelerated, Arteta continued: ‘Absolutely. All the news we had was from China, from Italy and then Spain.

‘Myself, I had it at home. Then you realise, “Wow, everybody can be exposed here, this is very serious” and you start to think of all the people you’ve been in contact with and the other people that can be related to us. That’s when the fear comes.

‘In terms of symptoms, it was a normal virus for me.I had three of four difficult days with a bit of a temperature, a dry cough and some discomfort in my chest. That was it.

‘The difficulty is that I was worried about the three kids I have at home. My missus has been through it and our nanny has been through it. Thank God, the kids never got it and we’re all completely fine now.’

More: Arsenal FC

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