Premier League clubs including Liverpool, Chelsea & Southampton step up training

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Premier League squads returned to non-contact training on Tuesday as the English top flight took another step forward in 'Project Restart'.

The Premier League hopes to restart its season in June, having been suspended since 13 March.

The easing of government restrictions have allowed players to train in small groups, with all 20 clubs unanimously agreeing to stage one of the return-to-training protocols on Monday.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that was the first step in a return to normality.

"I always said we don't want to rush anything, but I don't think it is rushed. I hope that we are now in England on the right side of the thing. It's all about when - but you need to re-open different parts of life again," Klopp told Liverpool's website.

"Everybody agrees about that. I think the way how we do it now with the Premier League, it's now a good moment to do it for the football teams."

Southampton forward Michael Obafemi wears a cover over his mouth as he takes part in training
Tottenham Hotspur training ground security
Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard leads his players in a running session during Tuesday's training.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl covered his mouth with a snood as he watched his players take part in Tuesday's training session
Southampton kit man Mark Forbes cleaned down training equipment during the session
Jordan Henderson

European stars also return

Elsewhere in Europe, five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo was among the Juventus players to return to training at their Continassa base in Turin after an absence of 72 days that included the last two weeks in quarantine.

Ronaldo, who flew back to his native Madeira before the Serie A season was suspended and returned to Turin in a private jet earlier this month, was due to have a medical before joining coach Maurizio Sarri and his team-mates.

Serie A clubs returned to training on 4 May but are restricted to working in small groups and must respect social distancing guidelines.

Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain only returned to Italy from Argentina last Thursday and will spend another 10 days in quarantine.

Cristiano Ronaldo

A number of players wore face masks while driving into the training ground, including Argentine forward Paulo Dybala and Colombian midfielder Juan Cuadrado.

Paulo Dybala
Miralem Pjanic

Spanish La Liga clubs also returned to training earlier this month, and have been allowed to move into larger training groups this week.

Training sessions of up to 10 players are now allowed. The next phase would be a return to full training before a possible restart on 12 June.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi (right) tries to take on team-mate Jordi Alba as the Spanish La Liga leaders step up their phased training

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