Toni Rudiger has been discussing with us how he is working from home during the current self-isolation period and what he is doing to pass the time...
These are difficult and unprecedented times for everybody around the world as the coronavirus health pandemic affects us all, severely impacting on our normal working and social lives.
While football has quite rightly been placed on pause across the whole of Europe for the foreseeable future, footballers are forced to keep fit as best they can during a period in which group contact has been advised against and many training grounds have been vacated as a result.
At Chelsea, following the positive COVID-19 test result of Callum Hudson-Odoi, the men’s first team squad and staff were asked to self-isolate in their own homes in accordance with UK Government and Public Health Guidelines.
For Toni Rudiger, that has represented a chance to spend precious time with his newborn son, although he acknowledges first that he is simply following all the advice in order to stay safe and healthy.
‘Everything is alright,’ Rudiger tells the official Chelsea website via phone. ‘We are still self-isolating, which means staying at home, so that’s what I’m doing.
‘This is something new for everyone and it’s a little bit scary. I am a very family person but I cannot even see them at the moment. It’s not possible to fly because you don’t know if you will catch something and bring it home.
‘I’m just opening the windows at the front of my house to get some fresh air but other than that staying at home like they told me to do.’
As revealed earlier in the week and seen on many of the players’ social media accounts, exercise bikes for indoor use were provided to each member of the Blues squad, as well as nutritional plans designed to be used alongside tailored fitness programmes to maintain their levels of physical condition.
The aim for the players currently at home is to stay fit, healthy and ready for when matches do eventually resume.
‘We have a plan from the club based on our training so there are some things we can do at home and we just follow that plan,’ explains the defender. ‘Then we have to wait for decisions to be made and for things to get better.
‘At the moment, it’s okay for me. In these type of circumstances, we just have to hope for the best and hope that everyone in the world is not getting affected by the virus.’
‘This is something new for everyone and it’s a little bit scary. We just have to wait for decisions to be made and for things to get better.'
— Toni Rudiger
When the 27-year-old is not exercising indoors, he is spending time with his newborn son and keeping in touch with family back home in Germany.
‘I have a newborn kid so you cannot be bored,’ he says. ‘The baby keeps me busy but when he’s sleeping, I am relaxing with my wife or playing PlayStation.
‘I speak to my family back home on a daily basis, not only because of the virus because it was always like this, but now even more because you hope they are good.’
Like the rest of the country and, indeed, the world, Rudiger is reaching out to loved ones to check all is well. Beyond that, he knows the best thing he can do right now is join the collective effort to stay at home, helping to protect our families and the communities around us.