Anxious Varela optimistic that this will also happen

KOCHI: Every day, concerned phone calls reach people in Spain, Argentina and Mexico from an apartment in Kozhikode .

The man at the end of the line is Gokulam. Kerala Football Club spanish coach Santiago Varela , who for more than two weeks has been isolated at the club's facilities, with his physical trainer Djair Miranda GarcĂ­a from Brazil.

Varela's wife and children are in Castelldefels, in the Catalan region of Spain, while other members of his family are scattered throughout Argentina, the country of his birth and Mexico. The 46-year-old breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday when he reported, all in good health and following the instructions of the authorities with great rigidity.

I speak to them every day and we are aware of the situation, said Varela, who has not been home since July when he arrived in India to take up Gokulam's job a second time; A brief stint at the club the year before had ended with his return home due to personal reasons.

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But Varela remembers that the pandemic has affected him in one way or another. I think that in this exceptional situation, we should all feel close. This is a tragedy and although directly in my family no one is hurt, but indirectly (family of friends, for example) they have had deaths. This should leave us, after All this happens, a message to understand that we must change many things. The world cannot continue the same after this situation and we must act as a responsible society, said Varela.

Born in Mar del Plata, Argentina, the Varelas made Spain their home almost two decades ago. It was the love for the game that took him so far, however, Varela, like any other soccer personality, reminds us that human lives matter above all before the great adversity of our times.

This (Covid-19) is a problem that does not escape any country, it is like war and we must be strong and united to face it, said Varela, who last August rekindled Kerala's passion for the game by guiding Gokulam to it. Durand Cup title, making them the second side of the state after the old FC Kochin , to pack the coveted national award.

With all the training suspended and the players in isolation in the hotels and apartments of the city, Varela's routine is to control her family, friends and players. Players need to have the same mindset as anyone, and they are following the instructions we gave them to keep fit with individual exercises.

That said, Varela also believes that soccer can be a great leveler.

Soccer (football) as the most popular sport in the world is a show that contributes to people's happiness. We ask players to play to make people happy and it should be a moral and non-negotiable thought. We hope that as soon as possible we will make people happy from our place, said Varela.