A former member of Sporting Kansas City has embraced an important role in the fight against COVID-19 in his native Spain.
Toni Dovale recorded four goals and four assists in 25 competitive appearances for Sporting Kansas City during a season-long spell in 2014. His 12-year professional career has included stints with Spanish clubs Celta Vigo, Lugo, Leganes and Rayo Vallecano as well as Indian side Bengaluru and Thai outfit Navy FC.
The 29-year-old had been playing in Thailand last winter but was visiting his family in Spain when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. It was then that Dovale, who had completed his university studies in pharmacy four years ago, decided to swap the soccer kit for a pharmacist’s white coat.
Over the last several weeks, Dovale has served at his family’s pharmacy in Coruna as a front-line worker in the struggle against the novel coronavirus. Despite his educational background, this marks the first time Dovale has worked in the pharmacy field.
Travel restrictions have prevented Dovale from venturing back to Thailand from Spain, so he decided to make the most of an opportunity to help combat the public health crisis in his homeland.
"There are shortages of many things, and we are struggling to get enough of the simple things like thermometers, paracetamol, gloves and hand gels," Dovale told international news outlet TRT World.
“I hope this is over as soon as possible and that I can go back to playing football again. Right now, though, everything is up in the air and I have no idea when sports will get going again over there in Asia or when we Europeans will be allowed to even travel again. I have no idea how this is going to pan out. Let's just hope it's all over soon and I can get back to my normal life playing football."
To read TRT World’s full story on Dovale, click here.