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Rustu: "I'll never forget Barcelona's support as I suffered with coronavirus"

The former Barcelona goalkeeper (2003-04) spoke to AS after his battle against the Covid-19 virus and is currently in quarantine at his Istanbul home.

Rustu: "I'll never forget Barcelona's support as I suffered with coronavirus"

Rüştü Reçber is the most capped player of all time in Turkish international football making 120 appearances for the Balkan nation with his debut coming in 1994 and his final appearance in 2012. His performances at the 2002 World Cup say the stopper feature in the tournament's all star team.

During his domestic career, the Antalya born player has also featured for both Istanbul giants Besiktas and Fenerbahce along with a brief but disappointing spell at Catalan outfit FC Barcelona only making four appearances for the LaLiga side between 2003/2006.

The player made the news recently having being diagnosed as positive for coronavirus at the end of March and spoke to AS from home where he is revovering having overcome the virus.

You have won the biggest contest in your life?

That is certainly true. I was very well treated by the local medical team and was for ten days received treatment for the virus as stipulated by the Turkish Ministry of Health.

What was your support network like during these times?

Of course, the help from my nearest and dearest was invaluable. We always knew that we would win this battle and in the end, the situation was a major scare and I'm very happy to have overcome the virus.

FC Barcelona were concerned about your situation 

Yes, the support from the club during and after the illness was a major boost. Both Carlos Naval and Chemi Teres passed on the best wishes from the president and all at the club. It's at these times that the small details are key and this will never be forgotten. I will never forget Barça's support for me during this time when I could have died at the hands of the coronavirus.

Barcelona's President Josep Maria Bartomeu
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Barcelona's President Josep Maria BartomeuALBERT GEAREUTERS

I can tell you are moved about this...

I'd like them to know that I will always be at the disposition of FC Barcelona. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all at the club, especially Mr. Bartomeu.

What do you recall about your spell at Camp Nou?

It was a unique season for me and those close to me. I moved there after solid displays at the 2002 World Cup and the day I signed for the club was one of the most memorable moments in my life. An experience I'll never forget.

You played alongside Xavi...

That's true and it was a wonderful opportunity to have him as a team-mate and then friend. He's a great guy and has a deep knowledge of the game at the top level. It was a pleasure to share the dressing room with him and he was always friendly and with a perennial winning smile.

Do you see him coaching at Barça one day?

I do belive he will make a fine coach when the day comes and he takes over. Someone who knows the club as he does is critical for a club that size. Luis Enrique showed what can be achieved by recruiting form er players. Both are natural winners and an ideal model for a business as big as this.

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