Neymar 'fine' despite contracting coronavirus

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has assured fans that he and his son, who also tested positive, are fine. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has assured fans that he and his son, who also tested positive, are fine. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PARIS • Neymar was one of three Paris Saint-Germain stars to have contracted the coronavirus, a well-placed source told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday, after the Champions League runners-up announced several positive tests.

"Three Paris Saint-Germain players have confirmed positive tests and are subject to the appropriate health protocol," PSG said in a statement.

"All of the players and coaching staff will continue to undergo tests in the coming days."

When contacted by AFP, the club declined to confirm the identity of the players in question.

But when asked if Neymar was one of those to test positive for Covid-19, along with teammates Angel di Maria and Leandro Paredes as was reported earlier in the week by French daily L'Equipe, the source replied "Yes."

The cases would appear to be linked to a holiday trip to the Spanish party island of Ibiza that several PSG players took following the Champions League final defeat by Bayern Munich.

The news is a setback to the French treble winners' preparations for the scheduled start of their Ligue One campaign next week, with a game away at Lens set for Sept 10 but possibly now at risk of being postponed.

PSG had already said on Monday that two unnamed players had reported back for pre-season training with coronavirus symptoms.

L'Equipe reported the players in question at the time were Argentina internationals di Maria and Paredes. Those two midfielders, along with Neymar, Ander Herrera, Mauro Icardi, Keylor Navas and Marquinhos all travelled to Ibiza following the Champions League final, mixing with friends and family after spending the previous weeks isolated in a secure sanitary "bubble" with teammates in Portugal for the competition.

Neymar, who is said to be asymptomatic, later posted a picture on Instagram showing him and his son smiling, with the caption: "Thank you for your messages. We're all fine!"

Brazilian media reports said the Selecao striker's nine-year-old son and 55-year-old father, who also went to Ibiza, had tested positive for the virus as well.

The wife of compatriot and defender Marquinhos also revealed on Instagram that her husband had been placed in isolation while awaiting the results of his own test for Covid-19.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2020, with the headline 'Neymar 'fine' despite contracting coronavirus'. Print Edition | Subscribe