Football superstar Lionel Messi has tested positive for coronavirus, confirmed French giants Paris Saint-Germain ahead of their French Cup (Coupe de France) game against third-tier Vannes on January 4 (Tuesday night). (More Football News)
Lionel Messi, 34, is among four players in the PSG squad to have tested positive for the coronavirus. Others are left-back Juan Bernat, backup goalie Sergio Rico and 19-year-old midfielder Nathan Bitumazala.
In a statement issued on Saturday night, Ligue 1 giants PSG revealed about the coronavirus infections, but none of the players were named at that point.
But in a further statement on the team's medical news Sunday, the club named Messi among those who have tested positive. One one staff member has also tested positive.
Medical update ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ@Aspetar— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 2, 2022
"This Sunday 2 January's medical update concerns Leo Messi, Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico, Nathan Bitumazala and Neymar Jr.," the medical update read.
"- The 4 players that tested positive for Covid-19 are Leo Messi, Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico and Nathan Bitumazala. They are currently in isolation and are subject to the appropriate health protocol.
"- Neymar JR will continue his treatment in Brazil until 9 January with members of the Paris Saint-Germain medical and performance staff. His return to training is still expected to be in about 3 weeks."
Messi won a record-extending seventh Ballon d'Or in 2021. He joined PSG from Barcelona on a free transfer last August amid emotional outpouring from the Catalan side. He signed a two-year deal with an option for an extra year.
In 2021, he scored 40 goals for the clubs and the national team, and won the 2021 Copa America -- his first major international title with the Argentina national football team.
14-time champions PSG are the most successful side in the history of the tournament. They beat Moncao 2-0 in the 2020–21 final.
Last year's runners-up Monaco also said Saturday that seven players had COVID-19 but none showed any worrying signs and are isolating.
Monaco face second-tier Quevilly-Rouen in one of 13 games scheduled for the day.
In England, a continuing coronavirus outbreak led to the postponement of the Southampton vs Newcastle match on Sunday. This was the 18th Premier League game to be postponed in the past three weeks.