By Laura Kemp • 12 June 2021 • 17:16
Spain has sent an extra 17 players to form an alternative squad after an outbreak of coronavirus threatened to infect the team at the European Championship.
11 players from Spain’s under-21 team and six players with previous experience within the national team were called upon by the coach, Luis Enrique, following captain Sergio Busquets testing positive for Covid on Sunday, June 6.
The team was vaccinated yesterday, June 11, after three consecutive days of negative tests for the entire squad. The extra players left today, June 12.
The 23 players on the Euro 202 team formed an honour guard, applauding those who had to leave.
At the beginning of this week, Enrique praised the “great attitude” of the veterans and the under-21’s who answered his call to help whilst on vacation.
The team that will play in the Euro’s practised together today for the first time this week. To reduce the risk of contagion they had been training in small bubbles, AP News reports.
Defender Diego Llorente returned to the squad after four consecutive negative tests, he had previously tested positive on Tuesday, June 8. Llorente explained that he had stayed in touch with Busquets, who is currently in a minimum 10-day isolation and will not be able to attend Spain’s opening game against Sweden that will take place on Monday in Seville.
“He has helped me a lot, giving me his support,” Llorente said about the team captain. “I hope that he returns as soon as possible. He is a great person and on the field, he gives us so much.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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