Soccer-Atletico’s Simeone tests COVID positive, Barca have more cases


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – LaLiga – FC Barcelona v Real Betis – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – December 4, 2021 FC Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Nacho Doce

December 30, 2021

MADRID (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid have recorded five COVID-19 positives, including manager Diego Simeone, while Barcelona had three more cases among their players on Thursday, the LaLiga clubs said.

Atleti said Simeone, captain Koke, midfielder Hector Herrera plus forwards Antoine Griezmann and Joao Felix all tested positive for the coronavirus.

“All of them are asymptomatic and isolating at their respective homes, in strict compliance with the health authorities’ guidelines,” Atletico said in a statement.

Atleti, fifth in LaLiga on 29 points after 18 games, host Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Barcelona said midfielder Philippe Coutinho, defender Sergino Dest and winger Ez Abde were the latest players to return positive tests.

The Catalans had already been hit by a number of COVID-19 cases nL1N2TE0FI in their squad, with Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and Gavi set to miss Sunday’s LaLiga trip to Real Mallorca after testing positive.

Clement Lenglet, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba and Alejandro Balde also returned positive tests this week.

“Footballers Sergino Dest, Coutinho and Ez Abde have tested positive for COVID-19. The players are in good health and self-isolating at home. The club has reported the cases to the relevant authorities,” Barcelona said in a statement.

Barca, who last played in the league in a 1-1 draw at Sevilla on Dec. 21, are seventh on 28 points from 18 games.

Real Madrid are also dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in their squad with Thibaut Courtois, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, Vinicius Jr returning positive tests on Wednesday.

Luka Modric, Rodrygo, Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale, Marcelo, Andriy Lunin, Isco and David Alaba also tested positive earlier this month.

Spain’s 14-day infection rate hit a new record of 1,360 cases per 100,000 people on Tuesday, rising from 1,206 cases the previous day and marking a five-fold increase since the beginning of December.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)





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