Xavi Hernandez tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of QSL restart

Sports News

Shared News: July 25, 2020 5:27:16 pm
Xavi led Al-Sadd to the Qatar Stars League title last season. (Source: AlSaddSC)

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Xavi Hernandez, the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder, confirmed on Saturday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 but was asymptomatic.

The 40-year-old becomes the latest high-profile name in football to be diagnosed with the virus that has claimed more than 640,000 lives globally. Earlier, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, Juventus’ Paulo Dybala, Blaise Matuidi, and Daniele Rugani had contracted the virus.

Xavi, who renewed his contract as the manager of Qatar’s Al-Sadd on July 5, said he will self-isolate as his team prepares for the restart of the Qatar Stars League (QSL).

In a club statement for Al-Sadd, the 2010 World Cup winner said, “Today I won’t be able to join my team on their comeback to the official competition. A few days ago, following the QSL protocol, I tested positive in the last COVID-19 test. Fortunately, I’m feeling ok, but I will be isolated until I am given the all-clear.”

“When the health services allow it, I will be very eager to return to my daily routine and to work.”

“I’d like to thank all the authorities, especially those working in the QSL, QFA (Qatar Football Association), and Al-Sadd for supplying the means of early detection, reducing the spread of infection, and that guarantees the normal development of the competition,” said Xavi on his Instagram post.

Xavi has been linked with a return to Camp Nou by the media he has also said that he has hopes to return to the Catalan club as head coach when the timing is right.

As for his current team, Al-Sadd are set to play Al-Khor on Saturday in the league’s restart after the QSL was suspended due to the pandemic.