We were getting close to a two-week international break in the football calendar when the coronavirus struck, and Willian had already arranged for his family to fly ahead to Brazil in anticipation of it. He was going to join them, but because of Callum Hudson-Odoi’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis (from which the 19-year-old has now recovered), the entire Chelsea squad including Willian were placed in self-isolation.
Initially, this pseudo-quarantine and work stoppage was only going to last a few weeks, so Willian made plans for his family to return and join him again at the earliest possibility. But then the suspension of the season was extended by another month (and a realistic date for resuming it is probably another month beyond that, if at all), while the lockdown measures have been steadily increasing, so Willian’s found himself stuck in limbo yet again.
And it was all starting to wear on him, as the tone of his various video interviews with media outlets back in home Brazil made pretty clear.
In one of those interviews, he revealed that he had asked the club for special permission to leave self-isolation and go back home to be with his family once again. According to a report from the Telegraph’s Matt Law yesterday, that permission has now been granted, despite the significant unknowns it inherently contains.
Chelsea have given Willian permission to return to his wife and daughters in Brazil. Other overseas PL stars have had similar requests rejected by their clubs. More to follow. #cfc— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) March 24, 2020
No one knows how long it will be before football can even begin to think about coming back, or how our world and society will even look like on the other side of this pandemic, but one would assume that various restrictions will be in place long after this initial wave of infections subsides. And those could include various travel and/or social restrictions. There’s certainly a non-zero chance that Willian gets stuck in Brazil for a while or would have to go through extended quarantine measures after returning — and it doesn’t even have to be all that long, seeing as how his Chelsea contract expires in three months.
But, football is pretty low on the overall priority list these days — it’s still the most important of the least important things in life; it’s just that there so many more additional important things in life these days than usual — and so it’s nice to see Chelsea do the decent thing and grant what could be the final wish as a Blue for a long-time ... legendary? ... Blue.