The Combat Corona initiative sill see top stars play against each other online
The Combat Corona initiative sill see top stars play against each other online Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: Juventus’ Paulo Dybala in charge of Real Madrid, Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale in charge of Manchester City ...

Confused? Welcome to the online gaming world, where on Sunday night, Dybala had the cheek to leave Bale out of his Madrid starting line-up before going on to beat the Welshman’s City side in a Fifa 20 video game as part of a Combat Corona fund-raiser for Unicef.

The Juventus striker has only recently recovered from coronavirus but was too good for the Real winger in the virtual game as the sporting world is at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it’s a quick retirement back out of Fifa for me to be honest ... all it takes is one moment and my defence wasn’t good enough,” Bale, who is the co-owner of esports organisation Ellevens Esports, told Reuters.

Action from the game between Bale and Dybala
Action from the Combat Corona game between Bale and Dybala Image Credit: Twitter

With live-action football at a halt, the world of esports has helped keep players and fans entertained.

“It’s just about people staying home and finding things to do ... obviously everybody is going to find it difficult at different points (to self isolate) but if we can stay in and keep everyone safe, it’ll save lives,” Bale added.

“Everyone try your best to stay at home and keep yourself entertained.”

Other top players such as Luke Shaw, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jordan Pickford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were also part of the event, which was broadcast live on Twitch and raised around 17,000 pounds through online donations.

Dybala, who won the game with a quick-fire brace from the Karim Benzema avatar and another goal from the virtual Eden Hazard, said the rematch would be in video game version of another sport close to Bale’s heart.

“It will be on the golf course,” said the Argentine, who admitted he had never played the sport in the real world.