Matija Nastasic: Our task is to stay fit

Matija Nastasic has been training without his teammates for over a week now, instead the players are all training at home. The Serb tells us what it’s been like to be working from home.

Matija, first thing’s first: How are you and your family?

Thanks for asking. Fortunately, we are doing well at this difficult time. In the current situation, I have become more aware than ever that health is the most important thing in life. We often take health for granted, but we have start valuing it much more.

You and the guys have now done a week working from home. How’s it been?

For every football player, this is a completely new and unusual thing to go through. I usually go to the club training ground every day to train with my teammates, but at the moment I can’t. Instead, we run through our individual programs at home in order to be prepared whenever football games can take place again. Nobody knows exactly when that will be. Our job is to stay in shape so that we are ready when things get going again.

What is your everyday life like at the moment?

The daily routine has been almost the same since Tuesday of last week: after getting up I do a fitness session, then I have breakfast with the family and play a little with my two children. When the kids are having their afternoon nap, I usually watch something with my wife. Then there’s another training session. After dinner we go to bed.

Can you train with the ball at all?

It’s not that easy in our apartment, but I keep trying with my older son. Sometimes we also go to the communal gardens of our residential complex. But it’s not nearly the sane as team training – ideally I’d have the ball at my feet training properly.

We often take health for granted, but we have start valuing it much more.

Matija Nastasic

Do your two children sometimes take part in your fitness program?

We actually do one or two little competitions in our apartment, which end up making me sweat a lot. We have to do things like that though so the kids are busy, because our life is currently almost exclusively at home. It’s a good feeling to have a family to spend time with during these difficult times.

Is there anything you’ve been able to do since being off that perhaps you wouldn’t have been able to do before?

There are a lot of things actually. The most important thing for me is of course the time with my family. As a footballer you usually travel a lot, so I really enjoy playing with my children. I’ve also been taking the time to read a good book.

You are not just a FC Schalke 04 player, you’re also a part of the Serbian national team. Do you have any contact with the Serbian players who play at clubs all over Europe?

I have spoken with some teammates in the past few days, especially with the guys who play in Italy. They fill me with a lot of courage. I sincerely hope that the corona pandemic will soon be over in all parts of the world. Watching the news every day and learning that people have died again makes me very, very sad.

In other circumstances, you would have played against Norway for one of the last places up for grabs at the European Championships next weekend. But at the moment there are simply more important things than football. So finally, do you have a message for our fans?

Take care and adhere to the rules and guidelines that the Chancellor laid down in her TV speech on Sunday. Stay at home and protect yourself and your fellow man, so that normality can return to our lives as quickly as possible. It’s up to all of us now!

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