Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has admitted struggling with the 'psychological difficulty' of pandemic football as Europe heads into its second year of lockdowns.
Reds' boss Jurgen Klopp has been among the big names this season to lament the physical impact of a jam packed season and the effects on players' fitness.
But Thiago says that the mundanity of lockdown has had a psychological effect on players, while admitting that the lack of fans makes it harder to keep going in the latter stage of matches.
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"More than physical I think it's psychological. You lack the boost fans give you in the final moments of matches, which gives you that physical boost," Thiago told Spanish newspaper AS on Tuesday ahead of Spain's World Cup qualifiers.
"There's also the fact you can do very little every day around the city. You go from home to training to training at home and get into a cycle where that's all you do."
Thiago is yet to play in a full Anfield since joining Liverpool from Bayern Munich in the summer, while his arrival has also coincided with the team's dramatic decline and failed attempt at a title defence.
"It will be beautiful to see a full Anfield but I also want to learn what day-to-day life is like in this new country," the 29-year-old added.
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"Football loses a lot of its essence without fans in the stands. We're competing in empty stadiums and we've had to re-learn our craft because when we were children we played in grounds without fans, with parents screaming.
"We knew how to do that but we were used to playing with fans supporting us and shouting against us. Now we've gotten used to playing without fans, but we miss having them in the stadiums so much, every day we long for them."
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