Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian forward Hulk has revealed his eagerness for a return to football as he steps up training with Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG.
In an interview with Brazilian news service Globo Esporte, Hulk praised the efforts of the Chinese authorities to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, Xinhua reports.
“The situation is calm and things have practically gone back to normal,” said Hulk, who returned to China with teammate and compatriot Oscar in late March after both players spent time in Brazil.
“We’ve seen how important the work of the Chinese government has been. They managed to take control of everything and the results came very quickly, thankfully. I hope that the whole world can overcome this difficult and sad situation as soon as possible.”
The Chinese Super League season was suspended before its scheduled start on February 22 amid measures to stop the spread of the virus.
All 16 Super League clubs have been back in training at their own facilities for more than a month, though a decision has yet to be made on when the season will begin.
“I was missing training with the ball and seeing my teammates, who are like a second family,” Hulk said. “We usually spend a lot of time together but we weren’t able to see each other for a long time. I’m very happy that everything is back to normal here now.”
Hulk, who has been capped 47 times for Brazil’s national team, has scored 86 goals and provided 47 assists in 138 matches with Shanghai SIPG, whom he joined from Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2016.
The 33-year-old helped the club win the Chinese Super League title in 2018 and the Chinese Super Cup last year.