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Pep Guardiola’s mother dies due to coronavirus

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The mother of Pep Guardiola, Dolors Sala Carrio, has died after being infected by the coronavirus. 

Carrio, 82, passed away in the Catalan town of Manresa, 40 miles north of Barcelona, as Manchester City announced they have been left ‘devastated’ by the news as their manager has lost his mother amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The Manchester City family are devastated to report the death today of Pep’s mother Dolors Sala Carrio in Manresa, Barcelona after contracting Corona Virus. She was 82-years-old. Everyone associated with the club sends their most heartfelt sympathy at this most distressing time to Pep, his family and all their friends.” 

Two weeks ago Guardiola donated over $1 million to hospitals in his home state of Catalonia in the battle against COVID-19 and has been a leading figure in calling for people to stay at home to help save lives and stop its spread.

“We miss football. We miss the life that we had a few days ago but now is the time to listen, to follow our scientists, doctors and nurses,” Guardiola said. “You are my football family and we are going to do everything possible to make you feel better. We’ll come back from this stronger, better, kinder … and a little bit fatter. Stay inside, stay safe.”

Spain and Italy have been the two nations in Europe most-impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with both countries on lockdown for lengthy periods of time.

Kyle Walker apologizes after reports of sex party during quarantine

Kyle Walker
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Manchester City and England star Kyle Walker has issued an apology after published reports said he hosted a sex party while on lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Walker and a friend apparently paid to have two escorts spend Tuesday with them, with the defender ironically issuing a Wednesday message imploring people to observe quarantine rules.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Here is Walker’s apology, via The Telegraph:

“I want to take this opportunity to issue a public apology for the choices I made last week. I understand that my position as a professional footballer brings the responsibility of being a role model. As such, I want to apologise to my family, friends, football club, supporters and the public for letting them down.”

Man City issued a stinging rebuke of Walker, saying they’ll be conducting an “internal disciplinary procedure.”

“Footballers are global role models and our staff and players have been working to support the incredible efforts of the NHS and other key workers in fighting the effects of the Covid-19 coronavirus, in any way we can. Kyle’s actions in this matter have directly contravened these efforts. We are disappointed to hear the allegations, note Kyle’s swift statement and apology, and will be conducting an internal disciplinary procedure.”

Footballers certainly have not been above reproach during the pandemic, though so many have made positive news via donations or spreading the message of social distancing.

Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish was allegedly involved in a car crash, while curfew-breaking Serbian international Aleksandar Prijovic has been sentenced to three months house detention. Fellow Serbian striker Luka Jovic of Real Madrid was investigated for a similar offense earlier this month.

De Bruyne concerned about extending current season

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Kevin de Bruyne has admitted he is concerned about the impact of extending the current 2019-20 Premier League season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Manchester City and Belgium star has admitted that players will need at least a three to four week preseason if they don’t play for six weeks and although he understands why leagues are waiting as long as possible to make a final decision, he believes priotirizing next season should be the main aim.

Speaking to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, De Bruyne revealed his stance on what should happen with the current season.

“I have no idea if we are going to play again,” De Bruyne said. “Just like here, in England they want to wait as long as possible before making a decision. But as a footballer, it’s not that clear cut. If you do nothing for six weeks, normally you need a pre-season of three to four weeks. If we restart immediately, everyone will be in the treatment room after a couple of games.

“That’s clearly not the intention. But there is a lot of money involved and I think that waiting too long to make a decision could cause problems for next season. It is not that we have a very long summer break and can just shove everything closer together. It would be a shame to stop early after such a good season, but if it avoids problems next year, it must be done.”

If Man City were top of the table, would De Bruyne have a different stance? Most probably. But that’s a little unfair as he isn’t saying scrap the season altogether, just that no more games should be played past a certain date. That could leave Liverpool to be declared as Premier League champions and the current league positions deemed as final for 2019-20, just like they are doing in De Bruyne’s homeland of Belgium.

De Bruyne, 28, is a frontrunner for the Premier League and PFA Player of the Season given his incredible form so far this season and with Man City in a very good position in the UEFA Champions League (they lead Real Madrid 2-1 on aggregate after the first leg of their UCL last 16 clash away at Real) they are the favorites to win the UCL. These comments should not be taken lightly, as De Bruyne and Man City are, in theory, closer than they’ve ever been to winning the Champions League.

The Belgian ace has already joked that any previous date he had in mind for retirement has been pushed back as recent time spent at home has shown him he isn’t ready to hang up his boots anytime soon. His views are very interesting and perhaps give us a inclination as to how other players are feeling, even if they aren’t outspoken.

VIDEO: Breaking down some celebrated Premier League derbies

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The kickoffs aren’t coming back soon, so we’re finding solace in anticipating the biggest matches on the Premier League calendar.

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Certain rivalries are circled on the fixture list when it arrives each summer, the sort of games that seem to level the playing field regardless of the gulf in class.

Is Arsenal struggling? No better way to bounce back than Spurs.

Liverpool sliding a bit? It’ll snap back to form when Everton hits Anfield.

PST lead writer and editor Joe Prince-Wright has prepped up for several of these derbies over the years, and here’s a cheat sheet for those new and a tasty summation for those missing their hated foes.

Liverpool-Manchester City

Arsenal-Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool-Everton

Manchester City-Manchester United

Chelsea-Tottenham Hotspur

De Bruyne says lockdown has him wanting to extend his career

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Kevin de Bruyne has learned a thing or two while stuck at home during the coronavirus. The main thing he’s discovered is that he doesn’t want to be stuck at home much longer.

That means possibly continuing his playing career longer than he may have expected, just to not be stuck inside.

“I told my wife I’m going to play a little bit longer after the lockdown,” de Bruyne said to ESPN. “I cannot stay at home. I’m going to play two more years. It’s hard, man.”

Currently 28 years old and one of the best players in the Premier League, de Bruyne’s fluid movement, exquisite passing, and creative flair are a joy to watch. The Belgian possibly extending his career should come as a positive for everyone – well, maybe except Manchester United fans.

It is certainly good news for the Belgian national team, who have been the beneficiary of his 74 international caps thus far. De Bruyne has missed a healthy chunk of playing time over the past year thanks to various injuries, but the extension of his career could only benefit Belgium in the long-term. It could, however, also see de Bruyne rethink the length of his international playing time to extend his club career, a move some older players make to rest their bodies during international breaks and milk as many playing days out of their careers as possible. Still, that could be a longshot knowing de Bruyne is hating being cooped up inside.

“It’s time to play football again,” he said. “I miss it and it’s difficult. But we are not important, football is not important. People love football… but you need to stay safe.”