Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Defender Juan Bernat, full-back Sergio Rico and midfielder Nathan Bitumazala are the other players performing positive tests.

Paris St Germain forward Lionel Messi and three other players tested positive for COVID-19, the French Ligue 1 club said.

The Argentine international Messi joined PSG from the boys’ club Barcelona in August and the 34-year-old scored six goals in 16 matches in all competitions for the Paris team.

Defender Juan Bernat, full-back Sergio Rico and midfielder Nathan Bitumazala were the other players who returned positive tests.

PSG said the four players were in isolation and subject to appropriate health protocols.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team tops the Ligue 1 standings with 46 points after 19 games, 13 points above second-placed Nice. They will travel to third-level club Vannes on Monday for a French Cup round-of-32 match.

“This is the risk we live with, on a global scale,” Pochettino said.

“In football, contact is inevitable, we share the dressing room. The risk of infection is there, but we take all the necessary measures to try and prevent a player from infecting others. ”

Pochettino said he was unsure whether Messi, who is currently in Argentina, would perform on January 9 in their next league match, at Olympique Lyonnais.

“Messi was in regular contact with our medical team and when he has a negative test, he will travel to France, but we do not know more than that. “I do not know if he will be involved against Lyon,” he said.

“Until he gets a negative test in Argentina, he will not be able to travel to France. So, it all depends on the test in terms of when he can travel… we will determine when he is ready to play. ”

France reported 219,126 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period on Saturday, the fourth day in a row that the country recorded more than 200,000 incidents.

France has joined the United States, India, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Russia with more than 10 million cases reported so far.

PSG also said Brazilian forward Neymar, who is out with an ankle injury, was about three weeks away from returning to training.

“Neymar jr will continue his treatment in Brazil until January 9 with members of the Paris Saint Germain medical and performance staff. “His return to training is expected in about 3 weeks,” PSG said in a statement.

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