Relief for Atletico as negative tests give green light for Leipzig quarter-final


Relief for Atletico as negative tests give green light for Leipzig quarter-final

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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MADRID Spain (AFP) — Atletico Madrid breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after further novel coronavirus tests on their players and staff turned up negative, allowing the team to travel to Portugal today for their Champions League quarter-final against Leipzig.

Tests at the weekend had revealed two novel coronavirus cases at the club, which Atletico confirmed yesterday to be players Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko.

Both players are asymptomatic and will remain isolated at home while the rest of the squad returned to training in the Spanish capital yesterday afternoon, before flying to Lisbon today for Thursday's game against Leipzig.

"The first team and members of the coaching staff underwent new PCR [polymerase chain reaction] tests yesterday [Sunday], the result of which has been negative in all of them, after the appearance of two positive cases in the tests carried out on Saturday," Atletico announced yesterday.

"As a result, 21 first-team footballers plus academy players Alex Dos Santos, Manu Sanchez, Riquelme and Toni Moya will travel to the Portuguese capital tomorrow [today] to gather for the Champions League quarter-final."

The club said the case of Vrsaljko "is considered resolved by the health authorities as he generated antibodies several months ago".

Atletico added that "tests were also performed on relatives living with the two positive cases, all of which were also negative".

Spain has been one of the countries worst affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, with 310,000 registered infections and 28,500 deaths.

Although most sports have returned in some form, there are concerns that case numbers are beginning to rise again.

In recent days, Spain has seen local quarantines imposed in the Basque Country, Catalonia and Aragon, while protective face masks have been made compulsory in several busy areas, especially in the Madrid region.

Last month, Atletico's city rivals Real Madrid announced forward Mariano Diaz had tested positive for COVID-19.

Sevilla's Nemanja Gudelj also tested positive, but further tests on the rest of the squad and staff turned up negative before their Europa League win over Roma last week.

Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester City on Friday. Sevilla will face English club Wolves in the quarter-finals in Germany today.

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