<
>

Coronavirus lockdown: Bundesliga clubs pitch to Premier League fans for support

play
How the Bundesliga plans to deal with cases of COVID-19 (2:11)

Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens discuss how the Bundesliga is planning to deal with coronavirus cases within the league. (2:11)

With almost all football postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, star players have found themselves at a loose end.

With many training grounds off-limits, clubs have sent footballers home, where they're adhering to an isolation period for the next few weeks. How are they passing the time?

ESPN will be keeping a daily eye on what the world's best are up to, as well as how clubs are keeping busy by battling in online competitions against each other.

- Stream new episodes of ESPN FC Monday-Friday on ESPN+
- Stream every episode of 30 for 30: Soccer Stories on ESPN+

Bundesliga clubs

With the Bundesliga scheduled to be the first of Europe's major leagues to resume play this weekend, various German clubs have been attempting to woo Premier League fans.

It began with Schalke constructing a lengthy Twitter thread detailing why supporters of all 20 clubs in the English top flight should support them. Schalke went through every Premier League team and offered their supporters a good reason to get behind them once the Bundesliga got underway again.

Be it shared former players, common club colours or previous meetings/beatings, the Gelsenkirchen outfit went out of their way to conjure up an impressively strong list of motives.

For example, Schakle's pitch to Liverpool fans was a shared affection for defender Joel Matip and that their coach, David Wagner, is Jurgen Klopp's pal (and was the best man at his wedding, no less).

Manchester City fans were put on a guilt trip for a previous Champions League humbling, which Die Knappen hope will win them a few new admirers in England.

While Schalke reminded Manchester United supporters that they both have bitter rivals who share the same anthem, as Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool have each taken "You'll Never Walk Alone" to their hearts.

However, it wasn't enough to win one English team's affection, with Sunderland instead deciding to buddy up with Cologne by wishing them luck for the rest of the campaign.

Naturally, this led to rivals Newcastle United almost immediately throwing their support behind Cologne's local nemesis, Borussia Monchengladbach.

Which, consequently, deprived Schalke support from the city that is actually twinned with Gelsenkirchen.

Those local divides run deep, and even over international borders.

play
2:08

No fans, no problem: CGI will be the saviour!

The Exploding Heads create CGI "fan-amations" in the absence of fans from stadiums.

Rui Patricio

Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio has aired his concerns about football's much-discussed return, albeit an incredibly specific aspect of said return.

Indeed, the Wolves No. 1 has identified the habit of spitting as a potential hygiene and safety issue if and when the sport is allowed to restart.

Patricio is worried that players will find it difficult to prevent themselves from spitting on the pitch during matches, which presents a problem, as one way coronavirus is spread is via saliva.

"It is impossible to train and play without spitting," Patricio said during an Instagram live chat with Portuguese TV presenter Bruno Nogueira.

"Even today I went to train, it was cold and I started to think it was impossible not to spit. It's cold, you have the snot ... it's impossible not to let it out."

This comes after a recent suggestion from FIFA medical committee chairman Michel D'Hooghe that players caught spitting could be shown yellow cards in order to deter them.

Patricio added: "I take the ball home with me. I wash the clothes when I get back [from training]. The goalkeeper's coach can't touch the ball."

David Luiz

View this post on Instagram

🎯

A post shared by David Luiz (@davidluiz_4) on

In between backyard training sessions, David Luiz found time to wind down with a game of darts.

The Arsenal defender even managed to hit the bull's-eye, much to his own surprise!

Son Heung-Min

Son Heung-Min came out to flash a "peace" sign in his first social media update since completing his national service in South Korea.

The Tottenham Hotspur forward is said to have passed with flying colours after spending the past three weeks at a military training camp on the island of Jeju.

The Son is indeed, out -- and will now undergo a 14-day quarantine period before returning to Spurs.

Lionel Messi impersonator

Another "New Messi" has been spotted, and this latest one is a young lad from India who already has the Barcelona star's free kick technique nailed.