Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid began training in groups of 10 players on Monday, in line with all health guidelines marked by the government as the LaLiga inches closer to a return. The Spanish government protocol allows training sessions to be expanded by all clubs, even in areas where the lockdown is stringent due to the active number of coronavirus cases. Madrid and Barcelona are part of in 'phase 0' as two of Spain's worst-hit regions, but a relaxation in rules to facilitate a LaLiga return has seen the likes of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona return to training.
On Twitter, FC Barcelona announced that several stars reported to Barcelona training on Monday, including Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets. The players reported at 9:30 AM local time at the Joan Gamper training ground for Barcelona training in the outskirts of the Catalan city. Several stars also reported to Real Madrid training on Monday at the club's training base, as the LaLiga is working towards ensuring how the entire first-team squad can begin training together. An earlier statement had said that up to 14 players were allowed to participate in training, but the number was swiftly reduced to 10.
Groups of <10 are back! 💪🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/VN80TxDEsG— FC Barcelona (from 🏠) (@FCBarcelona) May 19, 2020
Speaking to Movistar TV, LaLiga president Javier Tebas reiterated that the league intends to complete the remaining 11 rounds of matches of the current season. The current LaLiga season was suspended in March amidst the growing cases of coronavirus in Spain. Tebas said that the decision to resume top division football will be a ministerial decision and it is necessary that teams can all train in a similar manner. While the LaLiga President circled June 12 as an ideal date to resume the league, he added that a return would be dependent on the virus trajectory and the guidelines placed by the health officials.
Tebas added that the health officials have not yet given the green light for LaLiga to resume and there's no ideal date to start with. However, an official statement from the government allowed sporting clubs in Spain to resume training in accordance with the health guidelines and the return of football action could be on the cards soon. Spain has been one of the world's worst-hit countries by coronavirus pandemic with a total of 27,650 reported deaths as of Sunday and more than 231,000 confirmed cases. Before the LaLiga was suspended, Barcelona were on top of the points table with a slender two-point lead over arch-rivals Real Madrid.