Players from Barcelona and Real Madrid begin to test for viruses

MADRID: Barcelona and Real Madrid players began undergoing coronavirus testing on Wednesday as La Liga clubs planned to return to restricted training before the proposed resumption of the season next month.

Barça captain Lionel Messi and international France Antoine Griezmann They were among the photographed players arriving one by one in their cars at the club's training center early Wednesday morning.

Players in Madrid, including Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema , also underwent health checks at the Real training base on the outskirts of the city.

Coronavirus test results are generally known within 48 hours. The test is part of the league's strict medical protocol that teams must adhere to before re-training.

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Atlético de Madrid, who will also conduct tests on Wednesday, will try to resume training immediately once the results are known, if everything goes according to plan.

The first in a four-phase de-escalation program announced by the Spanish government last week would allow players to initially train alone, with a maximum of six players allowed on the field.

Players are expected to arrive at the club premises already in their kit and wear a mask and gloves when not training. After each session they will be given a bag of clothes for the following day.

The La Liga program will allow for small group training before returning to the larger team sessions.

In the fourth and final phase, scheduled for early June, the government has said that external events can continue when fewer than 400 people attend.

The League is proposing to complete its season behind closed doors, and games will begin again in mid-June.

People's health is paramount, so we have a comprehensive protocol to safeguard the health of everyone involved as we work to restart La Liga, league president Javier Tebas said Monday.

The circumstances are unprecedented, but we hope to start playing again in June and finish our 19/20 season this summer.

Spain has been one of the countries most affected in the world by the coronavirus pandemic, with almost 26,000 deaths in the country according to the latest figures on Wednesday.