Euro 2020: Sergio Busquets tests Covid positive, Lukaku hands Belgium warm-up win
Spain’s Euro 2020 preparations have taken a hit after captain Sergio Busquets tested positive for the coronavirus and is in danger of missing key games at the tournament. Busquets will need to be in isolation for ten days, and his participation in the European tournament is in doubt.
The midfielder is already set to miss the team's opener against Sweden on June 14 in the southern Spanish city of Seville. Spain’s second match in Group E is against Poland on June 19, also in Seville.
All other players in the Spanish squad tested negative for Covid-19, the federation said on Sunday.
The Spanish soccer federation said Busquets left the team’s training camp in Madrid on Sunday after the positive test was revealed.
It did not provide further detail on Busquets’ present condition. Everyone else in close contact with the Barcelona player has been put in isolation as per UEFA and local health safety protocols.
Other national teams’ preparations could potentially also be affected as Busquets played for Spain in the warm-up match against Portugal on Friday in Madrid. He exchanged a hug with Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo before the game at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Because of Busquets' positive test result, Spain's final warm-up match against Lithuania on Tuesday will be played with under-21 players.
Further tests will be repeated on the nearly 50 members of the Spanish delegation in coming days. The federation said it will evaluate the next steps regarding Busquets.
Spain coach Luis Enrique can still make changes to the squad in case of Covid-19 infections. The coach picked only 24 players for his squad instead of the 26 allowed for each national team at Euro 2020. He said he didn't want to have too many players who most likely would not get to play during the competition.
Lukaku scores, Belgium win
Romelu Lukaku scored his 60th international goal to help Belgium beat Croatia 1-0 in a Euro 2020 warm-up game on Sunday.
Scoring in the 38th minute, Lukaku ensured the Belgians, who were without the services of Manchester city midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, started their European Championship campaign on a positive note.
“I did what I had to do for the team. This result gives us a great feeling. Now it's just a matter of getting a bit sharper and getting the other players 100% ready,” Lukaku was quoted as saying by ESPN.
Belgium start their Euro 2020 campaign versus Russia on June 13, and Croatia will take on England at Wembley next Sunday.