After three months stranded outside of their home, Chinese Super League team Wuhan Zall finally return today.
Its an emotional homecoming after being unable to return due to COVID-19 outbreak.
The team had first left Wuhan to join a winter training camp in Guangzhou and later to southern Spain in early January as part of preparation for the new Super League season.
By the time they arrived in Malaga, residents in Wuhan were living under strict lockdown measures, and there were no planes or trains in or out of the capital.
After a transit in Germany, they landed in Shenzhen on 16 March and underwent quarantine for three weeks.
The players and staff have been separated from their families for the last three months, and the only way to keep in touch was through the video chat.
However, all the worries seemingly gone as they were greeted by fans when they arrived in Wuhan by train on Saturday evening.
Fans dressed in the team’s orange colours, sang and gave the players flowers as they arrived home for the first time in 104 days.
The returning players and staff were each handed flowers as they came into the arrivals hall. Fans also held up banners saying “Wuhan will win” and “Welcome home”.
“After more than three months of wandering, the homesick Wuhan Zall team members finally set foot in their hometown,” the team said on the Twitter-like Weibo.
They were also greeted by Zall chairman Tian Xudong, according to reports in Chinese media.
“I miss my family and friends in Wuhan very much,” Ming Tian told the Yancheng Evening News.
“Every day, we will contact through mobile phones. I hope everyone can survive the epidemic healthily. This is the most important thing.”
“The most worrying thing is to stay with family and friends in Wuhan,” captain Li Xing said. “We are thinking about when the epidemic will end.”