Spain fear mass Covid breakout as Llorente now tests positive

Carlo Garganese
Carlo Garganese
  • Updated: 9 Jun 2021 12:53 BST
  • 4 min read
Diego Llorente, Spain

The Spain national football team face an anxious wait to see if there has been a mass Covid-19 outbreak in their squad after it was announced that Diego Llorente had joined Sergio Busquets in testing positive for the virus.

Busquets tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, forcing the entire Spain squad into isolation.

It was then announced late on Tuesday that a second member of the squad, Leeds United defender Llorente, had also tested positive.

"The RFEF regrets to announce that central defender Diego Llorente has tested positive in the most recent PCR tests carried out this morning at the national team setup in Las Rozas," a statement read.

"The player will leave the national team tonight in a medical vehicle, following all the established health protocols."

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PCR tests are being carried out daily on players and any mass outbreak risks ending Spain’s tournament before it has even begun.

Spain's Euro plans in chaos

Spain play their opening game in Group E on Monday, June 14 in Seville against Sweden. Poland and Slovakia are also in their group.

Spain deployed their Under-21 team for Tuesday’s friendly against Lithuania but still managed a 4-0 win.

All of Spain’s senior staff members are required to isolate in their rooms at their Las Rozas headquarters.

Only individual training sessions will be permitted for the next few days, pushing Spain’s preparations for the Euros into chaos.

Will Busquets and Llorente be removed from Spain squad?

Busquets himself has returned to Barcelona and will spend the next week in isolation.

This means the Spain captain will be unavailable for the opening game, but he could return for the second match against Poland a week on Saturday.

Llorente will be in isolation for the next 10 days and will also be unavailable.

Luis Enrique has until Sunday evening to decide whether he wishes to replace Busquets with another player.

There is also concern within the Portugal squad because Busquets and Llorente played for an hour of the friendly against their Iberian neighbours on Friday.

Meanwhile, Sweden - who play Spain next Monday - have also registered two positive Covid-19 cases in Dejan Kulusevski and Mattias Svanberg. They both will be unavailable for the Spain game.

This is the second tournament in a row that Spain have been rocked by an event off the pitch before the finals have even started.

Prior to the 2018 World Cup, coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked just days before the first game after it was revealed that he had already accepted to manage Real Madrid after the finals.