Kieran Trippier is excited to resume the 2019-20 LaLiga season following the coronavirus pandemic, with the full-back also fully fit again following surgery on an injury that plagued him even before leaving Tottenham last year.

Spanish football is due to resume next week after a three-month hiatus, which came at a frustrating time for Trippier, given he had just returned to action following a lay-off.

Trippier had surgery on a groin issue in January and it was a problem he recently revealed caused him significant stress during his final season at Tottenham, criticising the club for putting off the operation.

Although he returned to action a few weeks before LaLiga was suspended, Trippier was still receiving treatment to aid his recovery, but that had to stop once Spain went into lockdown.

The England international acknowledged it was a struggle to retain fitness during the lockdown, but he and Atletico are excited to get going again, with Los Colchoneros set to resume their campaign away to Athletic Bilbao on June 14.

"For me personally, after my surgery, I was used to getting treatment every single day but obviously I couldn't get that at home," he said.

"It was difficult but always you find a way to train, keep yourself in the best possible shape so when you return, you're ready to start the competition again.

"I feel very good to be back. It was very difficult not seeing team-mates, staff, and training every single day. But everybody understands the circumstances of the time.

"Obviously everyone's excited. The team is just looking forward to getting ready for the game against Athletic and it's important that we start the season off again strongly and try to win as many games as we can from now until the end of the season."

The rest of the season will be played behind closed doors and Trippier is aware of how it feels to play in an empty stadium, though he believes Atletico will still feel the love from supporters watching in their own homes.

"I've played in some games where there have been no supporters before and it's different," he added.

"Obviously you want the fans there supporting you every single game, but everybody understands the circumstances at the moment and it's important that everybody is safe.

"We'll always try to find a way to win and the fans are always there watching on TV, so we have the full support from them back home."

Atletico are sixth in LaLiga heading into the final 11 matches of the season, however third-placed Sevilla are just two points better off than Diego Simeone's men.

LaLiga has confirmed the season will restart with a Seville derby on June 11 and the campaign will wrap up on July 19, it was confirmed on Sunday.

Suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, LaLiga will get back underway with a clash between Sevilla and Real Betis.

The remaining 11 matchdays will be played in less than six weeks as Barcelona and Real Madrid battle for the title.

Barca were two points clear of their bitter rivals when the season was stopped due to COVID-19, which has killed more than 373,000 people worldwide.

Quique Setien's men return to action with a trip to Real Mallorca on June 13, a day before Madrid host Eibar.

Barcelona also host Atletico Madrid on July 1 before facing rivals Espanyol in a derby clash a week later.

Barcelona's remaining fixtures
June 13: Real Mallorca (A)
June 16: Leganes (H)
June 21: Sevilla (A)
June 24: Athletic Bilbao (H)
June 28: Celta Vigo (A)
July 1: Atletico Madrid (H)
July 5: Villarreal (A)
July 8: Espanyol (H)
July 12: Real Valladolid (A)
July 15: Osasuna (H)
July 19: Deportivo Alaves (A)

Real Madrid's remaining fixtures
June 14: Eibar (H)
June 18: Valencia (H)
June 21: Real Sociedad (A)
June 24: Real Mallorca (H)
June 28: Espanyol (A)
July 1: Getafe (H)
July 5: Athletic Bilbao (A)
July 8: Deportivo Alaves (H)
July 12: Granada (A)
July 15: Villarreal (H)
July 19: Leganes (A)

LaLiga will return with the derby between Sevilla and Real Betis on Thursday, June 11, it has been confirmed.

Spain's Higher Council of Sport (CSD) said it had agreed the resumption plans with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and LaLiga.

The CSD issued a statement that confirmed plans for the season to end on July 18-19.

There are 11 rounds of games still to be played in LaLiga, with Barcelona two points clear of Real Madrid when the coronavirus pandemic forced football to be suspended in March.

"The resumption of competition will take place during the weekend of June 13-14, with the first match on Thursday the 11th between Sevilla and Real Betis," the CSD statement said.

"The last day will occur, provisionally and always depending on the evolution of the pandemic, on the weekend of July 18 and 19."

The Segunda Division can also resume on June 13-14.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas had been pushing for the June 11 derby date since Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed last Saturday that football could resume from June 8.

Previous reports had suggested the first LaLiga match would be played on June 12, exactly three months after the suspension started; however, Tebas has got the outcome he wanted.

All LaLiga games for the remainder of the 2019-20 season will be played behind closed doors.

The CSD praised those who took part in the talks to structure the final weeks of the campaign amid the unprecedented circumstances, saying the same officials would meet on a monthly basis, or, where necessary, more often until the season is concluded.

To fit in so many games in such a short period of time, the RFEF on Wednesday said it would allow matches to be played on Mondays and Fridays.

The Seville derby is expected to kick off at 22:00 local time due to the intense heat in Andalusia's capital.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas was left "concerned" after Sevilla players were found to have broken lockdown rules by having a social gathering on Saturday.

Ever Banega, Lucas Ocampos, Franco Vazquez and Luuk de Jong were seen congregating in a group of around 12 people in a since-deleted Instagram post uploaded by Banega's partner.

There is a maximum of 10 people permitted at gatherings in Seville, which remains in the early stages of Spain's easing of lockdown measures – though it is set to become the largest city to enter phase two on Monday.

All four players issued public apologies on Sunday, with Vazquez acknowledging they had "failed everyone" with their actions.

Tebas, who in the same interview confirmed LaLiga plans to resume on June 11 with Sevilla against Real Betis, stressed that those involved did express regret, but he felt it necessary to again remind footballers of their responsibilities.

 

"I am going to emphasise that the players have repented, which is positive," he said on Partidazo. "The players are an example for society and they must be careful with what they do.

"I appeal to all footballers; you cannot have this attitude. You have to be very careful because we jeopardise many jobs.

"At that gathering there could have been an asymptomatic [person with COVID-19], and it seemed that everyone smoked from a shisha pipe.

"You have to be responsible for everything you do. Security is total on the pitches where they train and in games, but I am concerned about these places and these meetings. We have to be very cautious."

Spain has had almost 283,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 28,752 deaths – only the United States, United Kingdom and Italy have reported more fatalities.

However, the daily death toll on Saturday was just 50.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas is hoping to resume the 2019-20 season on Thursday, June 11 with the Seville derby.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed on Saturday that LaLiga had been given permission to resume behind closed doors from June 8 following the coronavirus-enforced hiatus.

Previous reports had suggested the first match would be played on June 12, exactly three months after the suspension started, with Sevilla's home match against bitter rivals Real Betis said to be the chosen match.

And while Tebas confirmed the derby to be his desired fixture, he revealed on Sunday that he is hoping to resume a day earlier, with kick-off to be set at 22:00 local time due to the intense heat in Andalusia's capital.

Speaking on the Partidazo show, Tebas said: "There is the possibility that there will be a match on the 11th [of June], which would be a unique match, with a possible tribute for all the deceased.

"I wish that date could be confirmed. We would like it to be the Seville derby, at 10 at night.

"Our idea is to be able to confirm the [dates for the] first four matchdays this [coming] week.

"The hours will depend on where the game is played, it will always be taken into account. During the week, the schedules will be late. On weekends, there will be three schedules."

Despite Tebas revealing his plan, confirmation of the exact resumption date is to be announced in due course.

Lockdown measures in Spain have been eased gradually over the past few weeks after it was hit particularly badly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been almost 283,000 confirmed cases of the virus in Spain and 28,752 deaths – only the United States, United Kingdom and Italy recorded more fatalities.

Four Sevilla players have issued apologies after photos shared on social media showed them breaking Spanish social distancing rules.

Ever Banega, Lucas Ocampos, Franco Vazquez and Luuk de Jong were seen congregating in a group of around 12 people in a since-deleted Instagram post uploaded by Banega's partner.

A maximum of 10 people are permitted at social gatherings in the city of Seville, which remains in the early stages of Spain's easing of lockdown measures.

LaLiga chiefs have implemented strict protocols to ensure players remain coronavirus free, meanwhile, in the hope of the league resuming in early June.

The actions of the Sevilla quartet may have put next month's restart in jeopardy, however, and they have each moved to express their regret following Saturday's gathering.

"I want to apologise for what happened yesterday," Banega said on Instagram. "It was a family get together with team-mates but unknowingly, we were wrong. 

"For this, I want to apologise to our club, our fans and the society in general. It won't happen again.

"We only want to return to play as soon as possible."

Ocampos posted an apology of his own on social media, saying: "I want to say sorry and acknowledge that we have made a mistake, damaging the image of the club. 

"For this reason, we can only apologise to the club, the team-mates and the coaching staff and to society in general. 

"We guarantee that we have learned and that actions like this will not be repeated."

Fellow Argentinian Vazquez added: "Regarding what happened yesterday, I admit that it was a mistake. And as such the first thing is to apologise. 

"We have failed everyone: team-mates, coaches, the club and LaLiga, but we have learned. It will not be repeated. Let football come back."

In the simultaneously posted messages, Dutch striker De Jong echoed his team-mate's sentiments.

"I want to apologise to everyone who may have been offended by what happened yesterday," he said.

"It will not happen again. We want the competition to return, we just want to play again."

Nearly 29,000 people have been confirmed to have died from coronavirus in Spain, making it the fourth worst-hit country in the world.

Ivan Rakitic would welcome a conversation with someone in Barcelona's hierarchy over his future at the club amid continued links with a move away from Camp Nou.

The Croatia midfielder is preparing with the rest of the squad for the resumption of the LaLiga season in June following a lengthy break in proceedings due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, Rakitic has been consistently rumoured to be on his way out of the club, most recently as part of a swap deal to secure Miralem Pjanic from Juventus. 

In an interview to COPE, the 32-year-old revealed neither Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu nor sporting director Eric Abidal have spoken to him with regards his situation, though he has become accustomed to being involved in transfer speculation. 

"I have become used to my name coming out, it is not new," Rakitic said. 

"It would be nice to be in touch. I had it with Abidal, but it was more to talk about going back to work. I don't have any negative thoughts. 

"You can always talk to me. I am happy to go back to training and to wear the Barca shirt again."

Despite the talk of a move elsewhere in the next transfer window, Rakitic remains focused on a return to action. 

"It is not only in recent times, I have been in the same situation for two or three years," he added. "Nothing changes for me. I really want to prepare for the return. A few games remain and for that I want to be at the highest level. 

"The rest will be seen. When I sign a contract it is with the idea of fulfilling it."

The former Sevilla player stated during the interview that his family will return to live in the city "sooner or later", having been linked with his old employers.

He was also asked about a potential new arrival at Barcelona in Lautaro Martinez, who has been strongly linked with the LaLiga giants.

"I want to have the best in my team and Lautaro is at the best level, we have noticed that every time we play against Inter. If he arrives I'm delighted, but I have nothing to do with this," he said in relation to the Inter forward.

Sevilla forward Munir El Haddadi is in favour of LaLiga resuming the 2019-20 season from June 12, convinced that gives teams long enough to prepare.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused mass disruption to sport across Europe and Spain's LaLiga has been no different, with a ball not being kicked since early March.

Although lockdown measures look set to be extended again in Madrid, in many other areas of the country they are being relaxed, with Saturday's COVID-19 death toll of 102 people being the lowest daily figure in two months.

Monday will mark a fortnight since players were given the green light to return to individual training, while sessions in groups of up to 10 are set to begin at the start of the week, even for the Madrid-based clubs.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has outlined Friday June 12 as his target for a return to the pitch behind closed doors, with matches played "every day for 35 days", and Munir sees no issue with that date.

"Well, as far as I know they haven't told us anything," Munir told Marca when asked about potentially resuming the season with a derby contest against Real Betis.

"If it has to be played, then we will play. We have to train hard to be the best we can when they say.

"I think it [June 12] is fine. Four weeks already gives you time to do things. The best thing is the sooner you open to work in a group, which is what we need.

"We want to play, all with caution because we have been stopped for a long time. It is not the same as being on vacation – [it's been] two months locked up without being able to go out or train well. Little by little, we have to do more and safely."

Prior to the season's pause, Munir had struggled for first-team football at Sevilla this term under Julen Lopetegui, despite an encouraging first few months at the club following his move from Barcelona last January.

But the Spain international insists he and Lopetegui get on well, and he is eager to repay the backing he receives from fans before he contemplates moving on.

"It is true that from there [the Copa del Rey defeat to Mirandes in January] I do not play and it may seem that way, but I tell you that with the coach I get along very well and there is no problem," the Barca youth product said.

"And if there has been a problem, it can be solved by speaking. There has been nothing, we have never discussed or anything like that. I am going to continue working, trying to grow and helping the team.

"Really, and I have thought about this many times – I have to return the affection that Sevilla is showing me.

"I think I can give a lot to Sevilla and the fans that are so spectacular. They have always supported me, whether I'm in this situation or playing."

Unai Emery reckons Diego Simeone has got the Atletico Madrid job for life.

Unless Simeone decides to call a halt to his Wanda Metropolitano career, Emery cannot see the club parting ways with the charismatic Argentine boss.

That factor reduces Emery's chances of getting back into coaching at the highest level in Spain, as he searches for the next calling point in a well-travelled career following spells at Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal.

Simeone has spent over eight years in charge at Atletico, leading them to the 2013-14 LaLiga title and two Champions League finals.

Atleti have established themselves as the most consistent challengers to Real Madrid and Barcelona for the biggest prizes in Spain, which is why when Emery looks at potential landing spots in LaLiga, he finds it hard to see an opportunity coming up with the Rojiblancos.

"You go where they want you," Emery said to AS. "Now I live in Valencia to be with my son, but I'm registered in Madrid. I don't know where my next project will be, I am open to everything.

"What is clear is that Atletico have Simeone, who should be with the team until he wants to be, or his whole life, because there is no one who fits like him."

Emery first forged his reputation with successful spells in charge of Valencia and Sevilla, but the 48-year-old would not discount taking charge of either side's main city rivals, Levante and Real Betis.

"I'm a professional," Emery said. "My heart has always been with Real Sociedad, where I was for 10 years, but if Athletic [Bilbao] ever called me... I've been to Valencia, but if Levante called me... I have been to Sevilla, but if Betis called me...

"Wherever they want me and I feel recognised, I will be there, and that will be what matters."

Sevilla sporting director Monchi dismissed speculation linking the club with a move for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, saying there was "absolutely nothing" to the transfer talk.

Rakitic, 32, has been linked with a move away from Barca, where he arrived from Sevilla in 2014.

The Croatia international is contracted at Camp Nou until 2021, but Sevilla are reported to be interested in the midfielder.

However, Monchi rubbished the suggestions and said there was nothing to the speculation.

"I'm not going to discover who Ivan Rakitic is - we're friends," he told Muchodeporte on Thursday.

"Rakitic and Sevilla have absolutely nothing, to be honest. I've spoken to Ivan once or twice about his family and he's asked about mine.

"Now is not the time. Honestly, there's absolutely nothing at the moment.

"Everything that is going on at Barcelona has nothing to do with Sevilla."

Rakitic has won four LaLiga titles and a Champions League among numerous other trophies at Barcelona.

Ivan Rakitic insists he is "very happy" at Barcelona and is paying little attention to transfer speculation as he prepares to see out his contract at Camp Nou.

Midfielder Rakitic has a deal running to June 2021, but he has been persistently linked with moves away from the Blaugrana.

The Croatia star was said to be a potential makeweight in offers for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, while former club Sevilla are reported to be interested in a reunion.

But Rakitic says he has grown accustomed to the constant scrutiny at Barca and remains focused on life with the LaLiga leaders.

"I've got used to it a bit," he told Sky Sport in Germany. "I've been here six years now, so I've had six years of this sort of thing.

"I have to try to understand it, to remember that football is not just a sport. There is a bit more to it. We know that, we have to try to understand it, you have a laugh about it sometimes.

"The main thing is that I feel good and I am getting good feedback from the head coach and the club.

"I've still got a contract. When I sign a contract, I always intend to fulfil it, and if that cannot happen for any reason, then we'll sit down together and talk about it.

"But for the moment, I am very happy here and I am thinking about other stuff."

Rakitic, who has also previously turned out for Basel and Schalke, joined Barca from Sevilla ahead of the 2014-15 season.

He ended that campaign with a goal in their Champions League final success against Juventus and has helped Barca to four LaLiga titles.

Quique Setien's side are on course for another triumph this term, leading rivals Real Madrid by two points at the summit.

Simon Kjaer remains hopeful of completing a permanent switch from Sevilla to Milan at the end of the season.

The Denmark captain moved to San Siro on loan for the rest of the 2019-20 campaign in January.

Milan have an option to keep 31-year-old Kjaer in Serie A when his temporary deal comes to an end.

The centre-back has made it clear he wants to remain with the Rossoneri, but a decision is not likely to be made in the near future with the season suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.

Mikkel Beck's, Kjaer's agent, told Stats Perform: "The club has a buy-out they can use until a certain date.

"At the moment we are obviously in a position of having to wait to know if they will take use of the buy-out clause.

"We hope they will because Simon is very happy at the club and he's played very well. We have to wait and see but we are hoping for a positive answer from Milan, because he would like to stay."

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui has warned LaLiga that clubs will need at least five weeks' notice to prepare for a return to action following the suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

LaLiga has been on hiatus since early March due to COVID-19, which has been contracted by more people in Spain – almost 230,000 – than any other country in Europe.

A total of 23,521 people in Spain have died after catching the virus, but Monday's death toll of 288 was the lowest it has been since March 20, and that followed the government's decision to begin easing lockdown measures on Sunday.

LaLiga's indefinite suspension was announced on March 23, but with signs of improvement in Spain, attentions are beginning to turn towards sport and a potential resumption of the football season.

League president Javier Tebas has expressed a desire to get the season under way once again behind closed doors, but with no specific dates put forward, Lopetegui is convinced clubs should be allowed a minimum of five weeks to get back in shape.

"The circumstances and guarantees have to be in place and then we have to have a certain amount of time," Lopetegui, whose Sevilla side are third in LaLiga, told Sport.

"The end of the season is going to be an experiment because we do not know what's going to happen. We have to be calm and wait, giving importance to public health.

"What I can assure is this will be nothing like a return after a summer break. Neither the form nor the mind is going to be 20 per cent of what it would be in a normal pre-season.

"We are clear on that. I think when the circumstances allow, with the guarantees from the government, a period of adaption will be necessary to preserve the other part of the health, not just the virus.

"Don't forget that in LaLiga and the Segunda, everyone imagines big houses, but that's not the majority.

"We are all humans, with concerns, there have been cases [of the virus] in teams. All that's going on is not removed from any profession and it affects the players.

"We will have to speak about preparation time but, as a manager, I see we will need a minimum of five weeks to be in a situation where we can play every three days in a setting that no one has experienced before, not just playing behind closed doors, but after everything this nightmare has provoked. We have to be in the best physical condition."

Ivan Rakitic said he has "a special affection" for Sevilla as he hinted that he could make a return to Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan amid uncertainty over his future at Barcelona.

The 32-year-old midfielder spent three-and-a-half years at Sevilla before his €18m switch to Camp Nou in June 2014.

His Barcelona contract expires at the end of the 2020-21 season and Manchester United, Juventus, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with the Croatia international.

Rakitic has made just 10 LaLiga starts for the Blaugrana this season and, in an interview with Mundo Deportivo, he suggested he would be open to rejoining Sevilla.

"I have always said that it would be a great dream to wear that shirt again," said Rakitic.

"Everyone knows it, but it is not my own decision, whether I want it or not.

"There are other factors involved."

Rakitic joined Sevilla in a €2.5m transfer from Schalke in January 2011 – a move orchestrated by Sevilla sporting director Monchi.

Underlining the strength of his connection with the club, where he won the Europa League in 2013-14, Rakitic said he still has family in Seville and joked that he did not receive a phone call from Monchi when he turned 32 on March 10.

"Monchi and everyone in Seville have my phone number. They haven't called me yet and recently it was my birthday," said Rakitic.

"I have a special affection for Seville, and directly to the city - I have my family there."

Thierry Henry engaged the minds of his Monaco team with "bright, engaging" training sessions and could have been "fantastic" for the club had he not been sacked so quickly during the 2018-19 season, according to Rony Lopes.

After a difficult start to the campaign that saw them win just one of their first nine matches, Leonardo Jardim was dismissed in October and replaced swiftly by Henry, who had previously been Roberto Martinez's assistant with Belgium.

With an injury crisis ravaging the squad, results were little better under Henry, who won two of his 12 matches in charge, finding himself dismissed in January after a crushing 5-1 home defeat by Strasbourg and subsequently moving on to Montreal Impact in MLS.

Curiously, Jardim was reinstated after Henry's sacking, but he only lasted until December and Lopes – who was a part of the Monaco squad last season – feels the Frenchman was shown the door too soon, convinced he was having an impact on a squad that had felt the full force of bad luck with injuries.

"The time with Henry was a very hard campaign because it was a moment in the season when we had 17 injured players," Lopes said to the Athletic. "We played in the Champions League with five strikers who were 18 years old.

"Even if they are good players, they do not have the experience to play games like that. It was a hard season for them. I have never been in a situation like that in my life.

"I think people don't really know what happened with Thierry. In my opinion, the club did not give him enough time. The training sessions were really good and the ideas were bright, engaging and good.

"When he had the players back fit, and the team starting to be how he wanted, the club sacked him. I did not agree with that. If they had given him more time, he could have been a fantastic coach for Monaco.

Page 1 of 4
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.