Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi has tested positive for COVID-19 in his native Argentina, the French club said Sunday, January 2.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will miss the team’s Coupe de France match against Vannes on Monday. His status for PSG’s next Ligue 1 match on January 9 at Lyon is uncertain.
“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 any more than that. I don’t know if he will be involved against Lyon,” coach Mauricio Pochettino said, per Reuters.
Argentina international Messi joined PSG from boyhood club Barcelona in August and the 34-year-old has scored six goals in 16 games in all competitions for the Parisian side.
“Until he gets a negative test in Argentina, he will not be able to travel to France,” said Pochettino. “So it is all down to the test in terms of when he can travel. … We will assess when he is ready to play.”
The club said three other players – Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico and Nathan Bitumazala – also tested positive and are in isolation.
Messi, 34, has a goal and four assists in 10 starts this season in Ligue 1. Paris Saint-Germain sits atop the table with 46 points, 13 points ahead of both Nice and Marseille.
France reported 219,126 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in 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 in having had more than 10 million cases.
PSG also said that Brazil forward Neymar, who is out with an ankle injury, was about three weeks away from returning to training. – Rappler.com