Never felt abandoned during COVID-19 outbreak: Wang Shuang

Beijing, April 10 (IANS) Chinese women’s football star Wang Shuang said on her return to the national team that she had never felt abandoned despite being stuck in Wuhan for COVID-19 outbreak for 76 days.

The 25-year-old former Paris Saint-Germain striker, along with two other teammates, rejoined the Chinese outfit, which set up a training camp in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou, following the lockdown on Wuhan was lifted on Wednesday.
“When the epidemic broke out, head coach Jia Xiuquan tried every means to get us back to the team,” she was quoted by as saying on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“His efforts, though in vain, made me never feel being walked out on,” she said.

Wang and her two teammates, all Wuhan natives, were staying with their families for the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays in the Hubei province capital city when novel coronavirus broke out.
“In the beginning, I was rather anxious, fretting over the epidemic. But, encouraged by our head coach to keep good spirits, I then took that as it came. After having come through the isolation of two months and a half, now I can keep a peaceful frame of mind,” she said.
Though stranded, Wang said she kept training every day to keep fitness according to a regimen prescribed for her by Jia.
Speculations abounded about her allegedly strained relations with Jia since the 2019 World Cup when the latter gave a terse retort to a reporter who asked why he sent Wang on to the field only in the second half of China’s 1-0 loss to Germany in a group game.
“What I need is a team instead of a star in the team,” Jia then said.
The Chinese side is now training in Suzhou to prepare for the two-legged playoffs against South Korea, slated for June 4 and 9.