With just one week left before their debut at the European Championship, Spain was hit with bad news when officials announced that team captain Sergio Busquets is infected with coronavirus.
Spain is part of Group E at the Euros, alongside Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden. La Roja is supposed to host Sweden at “La Cartuja” Stadium in Sevilla on June 14. Busquets is the only player who received a positive result on the test performed on Sunday morning.
The Spanish Football Association (RFEF) issued a statement saying Busquets has left the team’s training camp in Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Roza in Madrid. He was taken by ambulance to Barcelona, where he lives. The player’s situation will be monitored carefully. Spain still hopes to have him at the Euros. The midfielder will undergo PCR testing every day in the hope that the virus will be non-symptomatic. It’s almost impossible to see Busquets featuring in Spain’s Euro opener against Sweden a week from today.
If the Spanish national team coach Luis Enrique decides to stop waiting for Busquets, he’ll be able to replace him with another player until the end of the week. Changes in the squads are still possible, with UEFA (European Football’s governing body) accepting a special set of exceptions given the pandemic context.
Players to self-isolate and train individually
Spain canceled all team activities planned for Monday. RFEF decided that the friendly game against Lithuania on Tuesday, which was supposed to be the national team’s last rehearsal before the Euros, will be played by the Under-21 set up instead.
🚨 OFICIAL | Lista de convocados para el encuentro ante Lituania
🔗 https://t.co/2IaopRj2c4#SomosEspaña pic.twitter.com/StHVW5yxX4
— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 6, 2021
All members of the first team and staff need to self-isolate before another PCR test is performed. For the moment, the players will train individually in their rooms, ruining Luis Enrique’s build-up for the Sweden match.
Busquets (32) is totally asymptomatic, according to Spanish paper El Pais. From the 24 players called by Luis Enrique, 11 have previously been infected with coronavirus, including Adama Traoré, Sarabia, Llorente, Morata, Eric García, Gayá, Laporte, Thiago, Fabián, Oyarzabal, and Ferran Torres.
Spain is at +800 to win the Euros this summer, as are Italy and Portugal. The bookies believe France has the best chances of winning, with the world champions at +450. England is at +500, Belgium at +550, and Germany at +700.