Maritzburg United winger Gabriel Nyoni has opened up on how much the coronavirus-enforced break has afected football stars but at the same time admitting that life comes first.

The novel pandemic has put football on hold worldwide and it’s escalation in South Africa forced the Cyril Ramaphosa-led administration to enforce a 21-day lockdown which started last week.

Speaking to Soccer24 from his base in Pietermaritzburg, the former Highlanders and CAPS United speed merchant bemoaned lack of football.

“Being called a footballer means you play football and you love what you do. Its painful not to be able to play because of the virus but it makes us as players realise that there is something more important than football, that’s life. Life is more important. We have eaten a humble pie,” he said.

“However, I also see it as a blessing in disguise in the sense that since we are all hoping it will be a transitory and ephemeral period, as a footballer you can take advantage and improve on the grey areas of your game. If your fitness wasnt right, this is the time to work on it. If your ball manipulation skills were not up to point this is also the time to work on them.”

Asked what his message he has for people in the wake of the three weeks lockdown, Nyoni said: “To everyone I say lets not be speculative. Just because someone close to you isn’t suffering from this virus doesn’t mean this pandemic is not for you. Coronavirus is real and is affecting everyone. Lets follow the rules or else we will follow each other to the grave. We need our lives back.”

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