Eirik Bakke has fingers crossed old club Leeds United get promoted

ACROSS the world, thousands of people have been desperately scrambling for flights back home to return to their families amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Eirik Bakke’s journey back to his native Norway was a long and eventful one, with the Sogndal coach among a group of staff and players who hastily abandoned their pre-season training camp in Marbella to head back to Scandinavia at short notice.

Bakke had only been in Spain for a short time after linking up with the Sogndal party after attending Liverpool’s Champions League second leg with Atletico Madrid on March 11 after being a guest of sponsors at Anfield.

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The former Leeds United midfielder, now 42, said: “It was very hard to get a flight back. We took a bus to Portugal for nine hours.

Jetting in: Eirik Bakke is met by David O'Leary at Leeds Bradford airport in 1996.

“We had to just rush back and take a bus to Portugal as it was chaos in Spain.

“We were supposed to be there for another 10 days, but had to go home. Then we were in a quarantine because if you go abroad, you have to stay two weeks in quarantine.

“We just got out as they were shutting down everything (in Spain).”

The Covid-19 crisis has ensured that the start to the league season in Norway has been put on hold, with Bakke waiting for football to get the green light to resume.

Can Mateusz Klich and Leeds United secure promotion this season? (Picture: Tony Johnson)

The former Whites favourite is also keeping his fingers crossed that the campaign can also resume for his old club, who are well placed to secure promotion back to the Premier League with nine games remaining.

Bakke continued: “Norway is strict, but we are from a small village with 7,000 people and it is easier here. You stay with your family, but keep away from other people. The boys have individual training and we’ll have to see what the government says. No-one cares about football at the minute, but when there is no football, then we will see how important it is.

“Fingers crossed, hopefully we will be back and Leeds will go back up again. It (season suspension) was a shame for Leeds as they were finding their form. Hopefully, it will be okay.”

Bakke has followed the fortunes of Leeds from Norway this season and had been due to play in the centenary game with Bayern Munich legends which was scheduled for late last month at Elland Road, only to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“It is a shame what happened with the match as I had been training as well,” he added.

“I still speak with Mark Viduka and Lucas Radebe. I have also spoken to Dominic (Matteo) and hopefully he will be okay and we are praying for him. I also keep in touch with Alfie Haaland, we were looking forward to coming over. Hopefully, the club will be back in the Premier League soon. Leeds supporters are the best in England and they are still showing that with everything that they have suffered.”

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