Diego Simeone tests positive for COVID and Barça adds new cases

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

Dec 30 (Reuters) -Atletico Madrid has registered five positives for COVID-19, including coach Diego Simeone, while Barcelona saw an increase in infections among its ranks on Thursday in three other players, according to the clubs of the Spanish soccer league.

Atleti said that Simeone, captain Koke, midfielder Héctor Herrera, as well as forwards Antoine Griezmann and Joao Félix, all tested positive for coronavirus.

“All of them are asymptomatic and isolated in their respective homes, strictly complying with the recommendations of the health authorities,” Atlético said in a statement.

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

Barcelona said midfielder Philippe Coutinho, defender Sergino Dest and winger Ez Abde were the last players to test positive.

The Catalans had already been affected by several cases of COVID-19 in their squad, as Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti and Gavi will miss Sunday’s LaLiga trip to Real Mallorca after testing positive.

Clément Lenglet, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba and Alejandro Balde also tested positive this week.

“The players Sergiño Dest, Coutinho and Ez Abde have tested positive for Covid-19. The players are in good health and are isolated at home. The Club has informed the competent authorities,” Barcelona said in a statement.

Barça, who last played in the league in a 1-1 draw in Seville on December 21, are seventh with 28 points from 18 games.

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

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

The 14-day infection rate in Spain reached a new record of 1,360 cases per 100,000 people on Tuesday, an increase from the 1,206 cases the day before and a five-fold increase since the beginning of December.

(Report by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; edited by Ken Ferris; translated by Flora Gómez)


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