Spanish players return to training camps

Barcelona star Lionel Messi left his club's training complex in gloves and mask on Wednesday

Players in Spain have begun to return to their team's training camps for the first time since the country entered a lockdown nearly two months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Stars of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and other clubs started preparing for the return to training this week.

They were all expected to be tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday and should be cleared to practice once the results are back. Most clubs are expected to resume training by the end of the week.

Both Barcelona and Real Madrid later released videos showing the players with gloves and masks inside their training centres.

In general, players didn't stay long at the club facilities, usually less than 30 minutes.

Coaches also went to the training camps and were tested. Barcelona coach Quique Setien was wearing gloves and a mask when he arrived, as was Atletico coach Diego Simeone. Real Madrid showed images of their boss Zinedine Zidane, who was also wearing protective gear, talking to his players.

Clubs have been issued with safety guidelines on how to return to practice, detailing all measures players and the clubs must adopt. La Liga wants a training period of about a month before it can restart. It hopes to resume sometime in June with games without fans.

Cadiz central defender Rafael Gimenez, known as Fali, failed to turn up to be tested for COVID-19 at the second division club's training ground on Wednesday it was reported.

The 26-year-old said last month he was unwilling to risk his health to play football. "I will not play again if there is a minimum risk and if I have to leave football, I will," he said.

Cadiz plan to speak to the player with a view to getting him to agree to undergo testing so he could resume training with the rest of the team

Meanwhile, the Spanish soccer federation on Wednesday proposed an end to this season's women's league, a decision that is expected to be approved by the end of the week.