Coronavirus: Savic felt like 'a little boy' upon Atletico's return to training

By Sports Desk May 14, 2020

Stefan Savic felt like "a little boy" again when Atletico Madrid returned to training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Atletico were back at their training ground for individual sessions at the weekend after lockdown restrictions in Spain were eased.

Diego Simeone's side have not played a competitive game since a dramatic 3-2 victory over Liverpool after extra time on March 11 secured their passage into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Savic was delighted to be back among his team-mates again, though acknowledged it is only a first step.

"I felt like a little boy going outside to play with friends. I felt very happy to be on the pitch again, training at home is just not the same," Savic told a virtual news conference.

"We aren't able to hug our team-mates and joke, but hopefully this will happen soon and normality will return."

He added: "I didn't have any fear about going out to train, I was really looking forward to returning because it's always better to train on the pitch than at home.

"We need to work with the attackers, but it is already a step forward and it can help us get closer to what we want in the coming weeks, which is to compete in LaLiga and the Champions League."

Atletico sat sixth in LaLiga, one point adrift of the top four with 11 games remaining, when the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in the suspension of the competition.

It is hoped Spain's top flight will be able to continue on June 12.

Savic is confident Atletico will be able to regain their place in the top four, highlighting how they treat every match – even friendlies – as finals.

"Atletico's goals are always playing Champions League and fighting for titles. It is not necessary to remind us on a daily basis," he said.

"We are aware of the goals of this big club which are being competing in Champions League and fighting for trophies.

"Not only are these 11 games finals, but every single game, including friendlies, we face them as finals.

"I think we are strong and we have the ability to finish in the top four and assure our participation in Champions League next year."

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