Benfica players return as Portuguese clubs resume training after coronavirus stoppage

VIDEO SHOWS: BENFICA PLAYERS HAVING MEDICAL TESTS / BENFICA PLAYERS TRAINING

SHOWS: SEIXAL, PORTUGAL (MAY 4, 2020) (IMAGENS SLB / FUTEBOL PROFISSIONAL - MUST CREDIT "IMAGENS SLB / FUTEBOL PROFISSIONAL".)

1. BENFICA DEFENDER JARDEL HAVING MEDICAL TESTS

2. VARIOUS OF GOALKEEPER ODYSSEAS VLACHODIMOS HAVING MEDICAL TESTS

3. FORWARD CARLOS VINICIUS HAVING MEDICAL TESTS

4. VARIOUS OF DEFENDER ANDRE ALMEIDA

5. BENFICA MANGER BRUNO LAGE WALKING OUT ONTO PITCH WEARING A MASK

6. VARIOUS OF MIDFIELDER PIZZI EXERCISING

7. TRAINING IN PROGRESS

8. VARIOUS OF MIDFIELDER RAFA SILVA EXERCISING

9. VARIOUS OF MIDFIELDER ADEL TAARABT EXERCISING

10. TRAINING IN PROGRESS

11. JARDEL EXERCISING WITH BALL

12. VARIOUS OF VINICIUS EXERCISING

13. VARIOUS OF VLACHODIMOS EXERCISING

14. DEFENDER ALEX GRIMALDO EXERCISING

15. DEFENDER FERRO EXERCISING

16. DEFENDER TOMAS TAVARES EXERCISING

17. MIDFIELDER ANDRIJA ZIVKOVIC EXERCISING

STORY: Portugal's top flight soccer clubs, including Benfica and Porto, resumed training on Monday (May 4) for the first time since the coronavirus stoppage amid plans to restart the top league on May 30.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Thursday (April 30) that training could re-start as he announced plans to relax the coronavirus lockdown. Portugal has been spared the huge death tolls in neighbouring Spain and some other Western European countries.

The Primeira Liga has been on hold since March 12.

Porto said that the players underwent medical tests and were then divided into three groups for practice to conform with social distancing guidelines.

Benfica coach Bruno Lage said that the situation was "unprecedented for coaches and footballers".

"We will try to find the best solutions and the best way of staying connected, even when we are a distance apart," he said, referring to the social distancing measures.

"We've been waiting for this to happen for a long time; to return to Seixal (Benfica's training group), return to the grass, and prepare for the rest of the 2019/20 season," he told the club's website.

"We know that, for the worst possible reasons, the situation is far from ideal."

Portuguese media said that most of the 18 top flight teams are back in training.

Porto have a one-point lead over bitter rivals Benfica with 10 rounds of matches to play.

(Production: Miguel Pereira / Stefan Haskins)