FIVE Barcelona players tested positive for Covid-19 in results that were never made public, it has been claimed.
Catalan radio station RAC1, in its programme Tu Diras, also said two members of the team’s coaching staff had the virus.
⚠️ Read our Coronavirus in Sport live blog for the latest news & updates
It claimed the positives showed up in blood tests at the start of the coronavirus crisis, saying all those affected had showed no symptoms of the virus and had now recovered.
However, local reports pointed to concern among club chiefs about the effect of the virus on those who caught it and their possible susceptibility to injury.
Barcelona’s first match when LaLiga restarts later this month is on June 13 away to Majorca.
There has been no official comment from Barcelona to the coronavirus claims.
Although they were first aired on RAC1, other Spanish media including Spanish football programme ‘El Chiringuito de Jugones’ have echoed them.
Aberlardo Fernandez Antuna, manager of Barcelona’s other major side Espanyol, revealed last month his squad had suffered 10 cases of coronavirus.
He said eight players and two members of the coaching squad tested positive.
They included Matias Vargas, Leandro Cabrera and Wu Lei.
Aberlardo said a team get-together in Girona in mid-March could have been to blame, saying: "We were living together for two days and we’ve been told that possibly some have had it but were asymptomatic."
Barca icon Lionel Messi – who donated £440,000 to fight coronavirus in his native Argentina – recently opened up on his struggles during the pandemic.
He said football will "never be the same" after Covid-19 and spoke of the tragedy of seeing loved ones die from the virus, which he describes as the "most unfair thing of all".
The 32-year-old told El Pais, via Goal: "Most of us are left with doubts about what the world is going to be like after everything that has happened.
"Beyond the confinement and the situation that took us by surprise, many people had a really hard time because this situation affected them in some way, as it happened with all those who lost their family and friends and could not even see them.
"I think there were a lot of negative things in this crisis, but there can be nothing worse than losing the people you love the most, that creates enormous frustration for me and seems to me the most unfair thing of all.
"Football, like life in general, I think will never be the same."
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW
Don't miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.
To receive The Sun's Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.
To follow us on Facebook, simply 'Like' our Coronavirus page.
Get Britain's best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.
Source: Read Full Article