Portugal’s top flight football clubs, including Porto and Benfica, started back the training on Monday for the first time since the coronavirus stoppage amid plans to restart the top league on May 30.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Thursday that training could re-start as he announced plans to relax the coronavirus lockdown. Portugal has been spared the huge death tolls in neighbouring Spain and some other Western European countries
The Primeira Liga has been on hold since March 12.
Porto said that the players underwent medical tests and were then divided into three groups for practice to conform with social distancing guidelines.
Benfica coach Bruno Lage said that the situation was “unprecedented for coaches and footballers”.
“We will try to find the best solutions and the best way of staying connected, even when we are a distance apart,” he said, referring to the social distancing measures.
“We’ve been waiting for this to happen for a long time; to return to Seixal (Benfica’s training group), return to the grass, and prepare for the rest of the 2019/20 season,” he told the club’s website.
“We know that, for the worst possible reasons, the situation is far from ideal.”
Portuguese media said that most of the 18 top flight teams are back in training.
Porto have a one-point lead over bitter rivals Benfica with 10 rounds of matches to play.
La Liga training to resume this week with season restart in June
Spanish soccer began the path back towards normality on Monday as organisers said clubs would resume training this week for the first time since activity was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic and targeted resuming the season in June.
Organising body La Liga said clubs in the top two divisions would return to individual training following a protocol it had agreed with Spain’s sports and health authorities and which guaranteed the safety of players and staff.