PSG’s Messi and three others tested positive for Covid-19


Paris St Germain striker Lionel Messi and three other players have tested positive for Covid-19, the French Ligue 1 club announced on Sunday.

Argentina international Messi joined PSG from childhood club Barcelona in August and the 34-year-old has scored six goals in 16 games in all competitions for the Paris side.

Defender Juan Bernat, substitute goalkeeper Sergio Rico and midfielder Nathan Bitumazala were the other players who returned positive tests. PSG said all four players were in isolation and under appropriate health protocols.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team lead the Ligue 1 standings with 46 points after 19 matches, 13 points above second-placed Nice. They must go Monday to the third division club of Vannes for a match of the knockout stages of the Coupe de France.

Pochettino has said he is unsure whether Messi, who is currently in Argentina, will play in his next league game, at Olympique Lyonnais on January 9.

“Messi has been in regular contact with our medical team and when he tests negative he will travel to France but we don’t know more than that. I don’t know if he will be involved against Lyon.

“Until he tests negative in Argentina, he will not be able to travel to France. So it all depends on the test to know when he can travel… we will assess when he is ready to play.”

France reported 219,126 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 over a 24-hour period on Saturday, the fourth day in a row that the country has recorded more than 200,000 cases.

France has joined the United States, India, Brazil, Britain and Russia for having had more than 10 million cases.

PSG have also said Brazilian striker Neymar with an ankle injury is around three weeks away from returning to training.


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