Diego Llorente became second after Busquets to test positive for COVID-19

Diego Llorente became second from the Spain team after captain Sergio Busquets, to test positive for COVID-19.

Pepe of Portugal vies with Diego Llorente of Spain
Pepe of Portugal vies with Diego Llorente of Spain | Photo Credit: Imago

Spanish national team lost its second player to COVID-19 virus after defender Diego Llorente tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.

The defender became the second player to do so in less than a week after captain Sergio Busquets also tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, throwing Luis Enrique’s Euro 2020 plans in disarray. 

A statement from the Spanish FA confirmed the news on Tuesday stating that the Leeds United midfielder has been moved away from the squad.

 ‘The RFEF regrets to announce that central defender Diego Llorente has tested positive in the last PRC tests carried out this morning (Tuesday) at the national team base.

‘He will leave tonight in a medicalised vehicle, following the established health protocols. The squad will continue to work with the routines established in COVID-19 situations.’

‘Personalised training will be maintained to continue with the preparation of the European Championships.

‘Training sessions for the players in the parallel bubble will continue on Wednesday at 11:00 am under the command of Luis Enrique in response to the setbacks suffered in recent days.

Head coach Enrique is in a race against time to get his squad ready for the upcoming European Championship and is desperate to avoid a full-blown outbreak of the virus within his squad. He has until Saturday to make changes to his initial list in case of injuries or Covid-19 cases.

Llorente and Busquet were among the players selected in Spain’s 24-man squad for the Euros but are now in danger of missing out if they don’t recover in time for their opening game against Sweden.

The entire senior squad and coaching staff have also been placed in isolation as the European Championships approach, while the second group of players has been put on standby in case anyone has to drop out of the squad.

Brais Mendez, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Pablo Fornals, Rau Albiol, Rodrigo Moreno and Carlos Soler are the six senior players who have been called up to train in a parallel bubble should several replacements be needed.

Meanwhile, the Spanish FA has revealed that a number of the country’s Under-21 players who stepped in place of the senior team in their friendly against Lithuania will remain in Madrid and train separately to the main squad.