In Spain, the changing room was deemed a high-risk Covid-19 transmission spot. And so they have been shut
There was a little over an hour until kick-off against Atlético Madrid on Wednesday evening and they hadn’t reached the ground yet, but Huesca’s players were already stretched and changed. One after another they came down the stairs or out the lift and into the foyer at a small hotel in the town centre. Outside, the bus had pulled up in front of the park, engine running. They strolled past the disinfected rug, the hand gel dispensers and out into the sunshine, climbing on board in full kit and trainers. When they got to Alcoraz, most went straight on the pitch. They weren’t allowed to go anywhere else.
A few minutes later Atlético arrived, Luis Suárez heading in wearing bright yellow football socks and shorts, a training top and a small rucksack, like a schoolboy going to a game. The scene is repeated across Spain, some changing into their boots on the grass. A couple of hours after Atlético turned up, 382km away Real Madrid’s squad were walking to their meeting with Valladolid together, all in their kit. Afterwards, having won 1-0, they made their own ways home, sweaty still, to shower – the world’s best Sunday league team.