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Ashley Young says cancer survivor friend inspires him through lockdown

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20:41 30 Mar 2020

Ashley Young says a friend of his who survived cancer has been giving him perspective during the period of lockdown in Italy. 

Life in the country remains on hold as they continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Monday, Italy had recorded 11,591 deaths as a result of the virus with 812 of those coming in the past 24-hours.

While football would be the furthest from many people's minds at the moment, discussions remain ongoing about when or even if the Serie A season can resume.

Italian Footballers Association president Damiano Tommasi is sceptical, while Torino president Urbano Cairo says, "in my opinion the championship is over".

Before football in Italy shut down, Ashley Young had been adapting to life away from England quite nicely.

The 34-year old left Manchester United for Inter in January on a free transfer.

Young managed six appearances before football was suspended in Italy, and even found the net in a 2-1 defeat away to Lazio.

The former Aston Villa man has told Corriere della Sera that he'd like to extend his stay at the San Siro, "Of course yes. I love Italy, Milan, the warmth of the fans.

"I want to stay and win. I am learning the language", he told the paper, adding that he enjoys the passion of the locals.

On how he's managed to deal with being asked to stay home for the last few weeks, Young revealed he has special inspiration.

"People say they can't stay indoors for three weeks. I often call a friend of mine," he told the paper.

"He was ill with cancer, stayed in hospital for six months, suspended between life and death.

"He tells me how difficult it was. I think of him, of what he went through. Staying at home is not difficult [by comparison]."

Young hailed the Italian approach with tackling the virus, saying they've shown the way in how people should react to government directive.

The former Manchester United and England wide-man also praised his new coach Antonio Conte saying he conducts "every training session with the same passion and intensity of a match.

"Not all coaches do it. He is always there to explain, to show you."

Young's also backed fellow January signing Christian Eriksen to shine after a bumpy start to life in Italy, telling Corriere the pressure the Dane has experience comes with being a player of his calibre.

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Ashley Young Coronavirus Covid-19 Inter Italy Lockdown Manchester United Premier League Serie A

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