Five high-profile footballers who have had coronavirus
Background Image Via: Felipe Esquivel Reed. CC BY-SA 4.0.
COVID-19, AKA the Coronavirus, has been wreaking havoc across the globe for the best part of a year now. Our beautiful game hasn't been exempt, either. After a three-month mid-season break, football has returned; although not as we know (and love) it. Despite the formation of the 'Elite Athlete Bubble', players have inevitably been infected with this potentially deadly disease. But who are the most high profile footballers which have had Coronavirus?
There have been a fair few and picking five was pretty tough. The likes of Angel di Maria, Paulo Dybala, Callum Hudson-Odoi and more recently, Alex Telles have all had the virus. As have manager's Mikel Arteta and David Moyes. However, the five we've chosen to highlight are all global superstars across the footballing landscape. Let's take a look...
I don't think I've ever known a footballer who splits opinion more than Neymar, who was amongst the first high-profile footballers to be infected with the disease upon the resumption of play. The Brazilian would test positive for Coronavirus on September 2nd, following a holiday to Spanish island Ibiza.
Throughout suffering the illness, Neymar was thought to be in good health, though undoubtedly disappointed to miss Paris Saint-Germain's first two games of the season. He'd return to training just eleven days later following a negative test and play his first game of the season against Angers in Ligue 1.
The Manchester United superstar isn't enjoying life on the pitch at the moment and perhaps Coronavirus played a part in that. Paul Pogba would test positive on August 27th, with the news confirmed by Didier Deschamps during France international duty. Pogba's teammate, Tanguy Ndombele, would also test positive at the same time, which is no surprise given the two had been in direct contact with each other.
Understandably, the whole France squad would undergo tests but surprisingly, no more positive tests were confirmed. Coronavirus hit Pogba at a time where he was gearing up to start the Premier League season and it certainly ruined his preparation for the 2020/21 campaign. Hopefully, he's now feeling better and Pogba will start to show his true ability for the Red Devils.
Did the Coronavirus have Zlatan? Or did Zlatan have the Coronavirus? Jokes aside, Ibrahimovic tested positive for COVID-19 back on September 24th. Interesting, the ever-brilliant Swede claimed that he'd been suffering from no symptoms whatsoever, and it'd take him fifteen days before returning a negative test.
Zlatan is like no man, though, and he's been simply outstanding since his return, propelling Inter Milan to the top of the Serie A, scoring an impressive bicycle kick to ensure his side beat Udinese 2-1 over the weekend. He continues to age like a fine wine.
Kylian Mbappe would test positive for the virus in early-September, which is no coincidence given he'd have probably been in direct contact with both Neymar and Paul Pogba for both club and country respectively. The youngster would miss one UEFA Nations League game, before being told to undergo a period of self-isolation.
This would seriously affect the PSG squad at that time, with the virus spreading like wildfire in their locker room. Keylor Navas, Mauro Icardi, Marquinhos and Leandro Parades were all made to lay low for a while after being in contact with Mbappe. It's normal service resumed for PSG, though, who sit atop the Ligue 1 table.
Undoubtedly the most high-profile player to suffer from COVID-19 is Cristiano Ronaldo. In fact, the Portuguese hot-shot would test positive for the disease twice! In early October, Ronaldo would test positive for Coronavirus while away on international duty for his country. Obviously, he'd go on to miss those games.
Then again on October 22nd, Ronaldo would return another positive test. Unfortunately, that'd then directly impact Juventus who'd drop league points at home to Crotone, before Ronaldo would miss a reunion with Lionel Messi. That game would end in a 2-2 draw.
Ronaldo, like everyone else on the list, has successfully recovered from Coronavirus. Hopefully, as we approach 2020's end, we see a rapid decline in the virus spreading not just in footballing circles, but in everyday life for each of us, too.