Quarantined Espanyol forward Wu Lei tells former mentor not to worry
China's star striker Wu Lei has assured his former mentor Xu Genbao that he will recover from coronavirus soon, a Shanghai newspaper reported on Sunday.
Wu, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, told his former youth coach in a telephone call that he was recovering well in quarantine, the Xinmin Evening News reported.
"I was very concerned about his health after hearing about his infection, but Wu told me not to worry as it was not a big problem for him," Xu was quoted as saying.
"I hope he can overcome the virus and regain his health, as Chinese football is counting on him at the moment," added Xu, who was head coach of China's national team between 1992 and 1993.
Wu, who has been hailed as one of Xu's most distinguished proteges, joined Xu's academy in Shanghai in 2003, one year after it opened its doors.
"His father asked one of my former players to recommend him. Then we were asked to scout him at a match," Xu said.
Then 11 years old, Wu impressed to such an extent that one of Xu's coaching staff likened him to Lionel Messi, Xu said of his first encounter with the striker.
"I could sense his explosive power, his speed, and his footballing intelligence. What impressed me most was his positional awareness," Xu noted.