Paris St Germain forward Lionel Messi and three other players tested positive for COVID-19, the French side confirmed on Sunday.
“The tests carried out during the winter holidays and before the resumption of training revealed 4 positive cases of Covid-19 among the players and 1 positive case among the staff. The people affected are under the current Covid protocols, ”said the initial tweet issued by the club.
The team then issued a medical statement confirming that Messi, along with defender Juan Bernat, substitute goalkeeper Sergio Rico and midfielder Nathan Bitumazala all tested positive. PSG said the four players were isolated and subject to appropriate health protocols.
“Messi has been in regular contact with our medical team and when he has a negative test he will travel to France, but we don’t know more than that. I don’t know if he will be involved against Lyon, ”Pochettino said at his first press conference of the year.
“Until you get a negative test in Argentina, you will not be able to travel to France. So it all depends on when you can travel… we will assess when you are ready to play. ”
He had published a post on Instagram in which he thanked him for the year he had and also mentioned the “s**t virus that does not end. ”
This was one of the goalscorer’s great fears and he let it be known prior to the Copa América debut against Chile.
“We are concerned because it is a risk for all of us to be able to get infected, to be able to catch Covid, but we try to take care of ourselves, continue doing what they tell us. Although these things happen, we face the other teams, where there are also risks of contagion. We will try to do the best possible so that it does not happen to us, but it does not depend on us alone either and it can happen.”
People close to the family confirmed that he turned up positive before the New Year and they were all isolated for a few days, according to journalist Milena Portella.
Another Absence That Will Generate Criticism In France
The Albiceleste captain joined PSG from Barcelona in August, since then the 34-year-old has scored six goals in 16 games in all competitions.
But that has not excluded him from all kinds of criticism by the media in that country that have highlighted the “lack of commitment” of the player to the team. In various media that tend to be very supportive of the team, they criticized him for his efforts on the field of play and giving priority to the selection.
He is also going to be criticized a lot since the player and his wife were posting several videos of them vacationing in his hometown without any kind of precaution or taking the proper measures when they left their compound to avoid acquiring the virus.
Pochettino Addressed The Media
Mauricio Pochettino’s squad leads the Ligue 1 standings with 46 points after 19 games, 13 points above second-placed Nice. They are due to travel to third-division club Vannes on Monday for a round of 32 match of the Coupe de France.
Pochettino said he was not sure whether Messi, who is currently in Argentina, will participate in his next league game against Lyon on January 9.
According to Reuters, France reported 219,126 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period on Saturday, the fourth consecutive day that the country has registered more than 200,000 cases.
With these figures, France has joined the United States, India, Brazil, Great Britain and Russia in having exceeded 10 million cases.