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23 football stars who have tested positive for Covid-19

Last updated 5 months ago | By Waweru Titus

The coronavirus outbreak has led to an almost complete shutdown of professional sports in the world.

The virus, having originated from Wuhan in China in December last year, continues to wreak havoc in the sporting world.

Football has been at the epicentre of this deadly virus that continues to destroy people irrespective of their race, colour, and creed or where they come from.

Despite footballers being incredibly fit athletes, they are susceptible to contracting Covid-19 like anyone else.

Game Yetu has compiled the latest list of popular stars who have been CONFIRMED to have the disease.

This story is developing and will be updated through the course of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to official numbers on Friday (17/04/2020), there are currently 2,231,990 coronavirus cases in the world with 153,252 succumbing to the deadly virus. 568,218 have recovered from Covid-19.

 

Norman Hunter (Friday 17/04/2020)

A part of England's World Cup-winning squad in 1966, Hunter won 28 caps for his country, scoring two goals. [Reuters]

Former Leeds United and England defender Norman 'Bites Yer Legs' Hunter died on Friday after contracting Covid-19.

"Norman was taken to hospital last week after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and despite continuing to battle and the best efforts of NHS staff, he sadly lost his fight earlier this morning.

"He leaves a huge hole in the Leeds United family, his legacy will never be forgotten and our thoughts are with Norman’s family and friends at this very difficult time," Leeds said on their website.

A part of England's World Cup-winning squad in 1966, Hunter won 28 caps for his country, scoring two goals.

Following his departure from Leeds in 1976, Hunter went on to enjoy spells with Bristol City and Barnsley, going on to manage the latter as well as Rotherham United and Bradford City.

 

Kenny Dalglish (Friday, 10/04/2020)

FA Carling Premier League - Liverpool v Blackburn Rovers - 14/5/95 Blackburn's Manager Kenny Dalglish with Captain Tim Sherwood celebrate with he trophy. [Action Images via Reuters]

Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish tested positive for coronavirus on Friday.

In a statement, Dalglish's family revealed the legend was in hospital regarding a different matter on Wednesday but was given a COVID-19 test.

"Sir Kenny was admitted to hospital on Wednesday, April 8, for treatment of an infection which required intravenous antibiotics.

"In keeping with current procedures, he was subsequently tested for COVID-19 despite having previously displayed no symptoms of the illness. Unexpectedly, the test result was positive but he remains asymptomatic.

"Before his admission to hospital, Sir Kenny had chosen to voluntarily self-isolate for longer than the advised period together with his family. He would urge everyone to follow the relevant government and expert guidance in the days and weeks ahead.

"He would like to take this opportunity to thank the brilliant NHS staff, whose dedication, bravery and sacrifice should be the focus of the nation's attention at this extraordinary time.

"He would also ask that they are given the space to do their jobs during what is an extremely challenging time for them and that his own family's privacy is respected.

"He looks forward to being home soon. We will provide further updates as and when it is appropriate,” the statement read.

Dalglish led Liverpool to their most recent English league title in the 1989-90 season, before managing Blackburn Rovers to Premier League glory in 1994-95.

He later took charge at Newcastle United, before a second spell as Liverpool manager followed, Dalglish in command at Anfield from January 2011 until May 2012.

 

Former Marseille president Pape Diouf (Tuesday, 31/03/202020)

Being the only black president of a top-tier European club was "a painful observation", Pape Diouf once remarked. [Anne-Christine Poujoulat, AFP]

Former Marseille president Pape Diouf died on Tuesday aged 68 after contracting Covid-19, France 24 confirmed.

He was hospitalised in Senegal after contracting the virus there and became the country's first COVID-19 fatality.

Diouf, who was born in Chad but had French and Senegalese citizenship, led Marseille between 2005-2009 and helped build the side that lifted the Ligue 1 title in 2010.

 

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Rustu Recber (Saturday, 28/03/2020)

Goalkeeper Rustu Recber of Turkey at the 2002 World Cup. [Courtesy]

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Rustu Recber tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

 “Rustu is in hospital with a COVID-19 diagnosis,” said his wife Isil Recber on Instagram late Saturday.

“We are in a state of shock after the symptoms developed rapidly while everything was normal. These are critical times and it’s very difficult.”

She added that she, as well as their son and daughter, had tested negative for the virus.

Recber took on hero status in Turkey as he kept goal at the 2002 World Cup, anchoring his team to the semi-finals and ultimately third place, their greatest ever performance in the tournament.

The powerfully built and poney-tailed goalkeeper was easily recognisable at the World Cup due to the black, anti-reflection product he smeared beneath his eyes like some NFL players.

Last week, Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim said he also tested positive for the virus.

Turkey has officially recorded 7,402 cases of the new coronavirus while 108 people have died, according to the health minister Saturday.

 

Galatasaray – Fatih Terim (Monday, 23/03/2020)

Fatih Terim [Courtesy]

The manager of Galatasaray, Fatih Terim, as well as the Turkish Süper Lig club's vice-chairman Abdurrahim Albayrak, both tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

In a Twitter post, Terim said his test results came back positive for COVID-19 and he was admitted to hospital for treatment.

"I'm in good hands at the hospital. Don't worry. Hope to talk to you all soon," he wrote.

Terim's announcement came hours after the club said it's vice chairman Albayrak and his wife ükran Albayrak both tested positive for the virus, adding that they were both in good health on the sixth day of the treatment process.

 

Real Madrid - Fernando Martin Alvarez (Monday, 23/03/2020)

Álvarez was Los Blancos' president for two months in 2006. [Courtesy]

Another Former Real Madrid president Fernando Martin Alvarez was reported to be in a serious condition in hospital with coronavirus symptoms, Daily Mail reported on Monday.

According to reports in Spain, the 72-year-old is in the intensive care unit at the Puerta de Hierro Hospital in Madrid.  

Álvarez was president of the Spanish giants for two months in 2006.

 

Marouane Fellaini (Sunday, 22/03/2020)

Soccer Football - World Cup - Quarter Final - Brazil vs Belgium - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - July 6, 2018, Belgium's Marouane Fellaini reacts. [REUTERS/John Sibley]

Former Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday.

The Chinese Super League side explained that Fellaini did not have a fever and was not displaying any other symptoms.

A statement published on Shandong Luneng's website said: "The official test confirmed that the club player Fellaini tested positive for the new coronavirus during the quarantine observation period.

"During this period, the player's body temperature has been normal and there are no other discomforts.

"He has received further observation and treatment at a designated medical institution."

Fellaini later posted a message on Twitter confirming his diagnosis.

"Dear friends, I have been tested for coronavirus and my test result is positive.

"Thanks to the fans, medical staff and the club for their care and attention. I will follow the treatment and hope to return to the game as soon as possible. Please, everyone, stay safe,” the Belgian said.

Fellaini moved to China in February 2019 after five and a half years at Old Trafford.

 

Paolo Maldini and his son Daniel (Saturday, 21/03/2020)

Daniel, Paolo Maldini [Courtesy]

Paolo Maldini and his son Daniel tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

"Milan confirms that Paolo Maldini, the club's technical director, became aware of contact with a person who subsequently tested positive for coronavirus and began to display symptoms of the virus himself.

"He was administered with a swab test yesterday, the result of which was positive. His son Daniel, a forward in Milan's youth team who had previously been training with the first team, also tested positive.

"Paolo and Daniel are both well and have already completed two weeks at home without contact with others.

"They will now remain in quarantine until clinically recovered, as per the medical protocols outlined by the health authorities,” a club statement said.

Italy has been in lockdown for almost two weeks as its government attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Real Madrid - Lorenzo Sanz (Saturday, 21/03/2020)

Lorenzo Sanz [Courtesy]

Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz died at the age of 76 on Saturday after contracting the novel coronavirus.

Sanz had been admitted to hospital with coronavirus-like symptoms, the pandemic having sent Spain and other nations into lockdown.

Sanz's son, Lorenzo, on Saturday, confirmed his father's passing on Twitter before LaLiga and Madrid released statements.

"My father has just died," he wrote. "He did not deserve it to end in this manner. One of the best, most courageous and hardworking people I have seen in my life. His family and Real Madrid were his passion."

In a statement issued on their official website, Madrid said: "Real Madrid, its president and the board of directors regret with great consternation the death of Lorenzo Sanz, who was president of Real Madrid from 1995 to 2000.

"They also want to express their deepest condolences and all their affection and affection to his wife Mari Luz, their children, Lorenzo, Francisco, Fernando, María Luz [Malula] and Diana, and their family and friends. Condolences that also extend to all Real Madrid.

Sanz was president of Madrid between 1995 and 2000, presiding over two Champions League triumphs, one LaLiga title and the Spanish giants winning the now-defunct European Cup Winners' Cup.

 

Juventus - Paulo Dybala (Saturday, 21/03/2020)

Champions League - Group Stage - Group H - Juventus v BSC Young Boys - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - October 2, 2018, Juventus' Paulo Dybala celebrates scoring their first goal. [REUTERS/Massimo Pinca]

Juventus superstar Paulo Dybala tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

“Paulo Dybala has undergone medical tests that revealed a positive result for Coronavirus-COVID19.

“He has been in voluntary home isolation since Wednesday 11 March.

“He will continue to be monitored, following the usual regime.

“He is well and is asymptomatic,” Juve said in a statement seen by Game Yetu.

Dybala is the third Juve star to test positive for Covid-19, after centre back Daniele Rugani and World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi.

 

Juventus – Blaise Matuidi (Tuesday, 17/03/2020)

French international Blaise Matuidi. [Courtesy]

Juventus confirmed on Tuesday Matuidi was the second Juve player to be diagnosed with coronavirus after Daniele Rugani was confirmed as their first case last week.

A statement released by the Italian club read: "Blaise Matuidi has undergone medical tests that have revealed his positivity to the coronavirus-COVID-19.

"The player, as of Wednesday, March 11, has been in voluntary home isolation. He will continue to be monitored and will follow the same regime. He is well and is asymptomatic."

World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic last week.

 

Football coach Francisco Garcia dies from coronavirus (Monday 16/03/2020)

Malaga youth coach Francisco Garcia. [Courtesy]

The 21-year-old Spanish football was killed by coronavirus while also battling leukemia.

Francisco Garcia, a youth team coach at Malaga club Atletico Portada Alta, only received his cancer diagnosis after going to the hospital with symptoms of the virus, the Independent reported.

The coach had been advised to seek medical help after he began experiencing trouble breathing.

 

Flamengo coach Jorge Jesus (Monday, 16/03/2020)

Flamengo coach Jorge Jesus. [Courtesy]

Jesus said on he was feeling fine after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Brazilian Serie A champions announced Jesus tested positive on Monday.

In a message posted on Instagram, Jesus said he was well despite the positive test.

"Hello. Good afternoon in Brazil, good night in Portugal. True, my test was positive," he said.

"It is also true that I feel normal, I am feeling exactly as I felt a month ago, a year ago, two, three, four ... I am normal. I don't feel any symptoms.

"But I had a positive test. I'll be in reclusion. I want to thank the affection of my friends and the fans of Flamengo for sharing this situation with me.

"I think that in a few days everything will be back to normal, God willing. A big kiss to everyone. I am very confident."

The Brazilian Football Confederation announced suspension of all national football competitions for an indefinite period on Sunday.

 

Valencia - Eliaquim Mangala (Sunday, 15/03/2020)

Defender Eliaquim Mangala. [Courtesy]

 

Defender Eliaquim Mangala confirmed he contracted coronavirus on Sunday, but said he was feeling fine.

"I knew today that I am #Coronavirus positive," Mangala, who has only made four LaLiga appearances this season, said in a Twitter post.

"I'm feeling good and I have no symptoms associated with the virus. However, I am confined in house and separated from my family.

"I learned that we can carry the virus without having symptoms, that's why I recommend everyone to follow the confinement measures and avoid contact with other people, as much as possible, even if you feel well.

"If everyone respect these instructions, together we will avoid the propagation as much as possible and fight to avoid transmitting it to people, who may have aggravating symptoms.

"Many thanks for your support message, take care of yourself and your loved ones and respect the confinement instructions to avoid the spreading."

Mangala spent five years at City before moving to Valencia in 2019.

 

Valencia - Ezequiel Garay (Sunday, 15/03/2020)

Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay. [Courtesy]

Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, becoming the first La Liga player to confirm he has the virus.

"It's clear that I have got off to the wrong start in 2020. I've tested positive for the coronavirus, I feel very good and now I just have to listen to the health authorities and for now, remain isolated," Garay wrote on his official Instagram account.

Garay was ruled out of the season after suffering a knee injury in February.

A statement from the Spanish club added that more cases at the club had been confirmed.

"Valencia CF confirm that five positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been detected from first-team players and staff.

"They are all in their homes in good health and with isolation measures.

 

Sampdoria's Depaoli, two more Fiorentina players test positive for coronavirus (Saturday, 14/03/2020)

Wolves striker Patrick Cutrone, who is on loan at Fiorentina for the rest of the season, has Covid-19. [Courtesy]

Two more Fiorentina players and another at Sampdoria tested positive coronavirus, bringing the number of infected Serie A players to 10 on Saturday (14/03/2020).

Fiorentina's Argentine international defender German Pezzella and on-loan forward Patrick Cutrone along with Sampdoria midfielder Fabio Depaoli are the latest to return positive tests for the virus.

Later on Saturday, Depaoli said on his Instagram account that he had also contracted the coronavirus.

"Unfortunately I tested positive for COVID-19. I want to reassure you that I'm fine," the 22-year-old Depaoli wrote.

 

Sampdoria, Fiorentina players (Friday, 13/03/2020)

Sampdoria's Morten Thorsby. [Courtesy]

Four more players at Sampdoria plus one from Fiorentina also tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total number of infected players in Italy's Serie A to seven.

Sampdoria said the players -- Norwegian Morten Thorsby, Swede Albin Ekdal, Gambian Omar Colley and Italian Antonino La Gumina and team doctor Amedeo Baldari -- were all doing well.

"They are all in good health and in their homes in Genoa," said the club in a statement.

"Sampdoria reiterates that it has immediately applied all the procedures stipulated by the regulations: all club premises are closed, the team, managers and employees potentially involved are in voluntary home isolation," it added.

"Everything will go well. Together we will make it. Stay at home."

Fiorentina confirmed their Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic had also tested positive.

"He is at home and currently does not have any symptoms," said the Florence-based club.

 

Chelsea – Callum Hudson-Odoi (Friday, 13/03/2020)

Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi. [REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/File Photo]

Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday.

Hudson-Odoi, who is the first Premier League player to test positive for the virus, later said in a video on Twitter that he was following health guidelines and remained in good spirits.

"Thank you for all your good wishes... I'm feeling good and hope to see you all soon," he said.

Hudson-Odoi stayed away from the training ground with a club statement saying: "Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with the player in the men's team building will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines.

"These will include initially the full men's team squad, coaching staff and a number of backroom staff.

"It is expected that those who did not have close contact with Callum will return to work in the coming days. In the meantime, the men's team building, one of several separate buildings at our training ground, will remain closed."

 

Arsenal – Mikel Arteta (Friday, 13/03/2020)

Premier League - Arsenal v Everton - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - February 23, 2020 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacts. [REUTERS/David Klein]

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday sending shockwaves among Arsenal fans and the world at large.

Consequently, the Arsenal Colney Training Centre was closed, with personnel who had had recent close contact with Arteta now in self-isolation.

"Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff," Arsenal said in a statement.

Arteta said later on Friday he was feeling better after testing positive.

"Thanks for your words and support," the Spaniard, 37, wrote on Twitter.

"We're all facing a huge and unprecedented challenge.

"Everyone's health is all that matters right now. Protect each other by following the guidelines," he added.

"We'll come through this together."

Arsenal's game at Manchester City on Wednesday was postponed as a number of their players had met Evangelos Marinakis, the owner of Greek club Olympiakos Piraeus, who contracted the virus.

 

Sampdoria's – Manolo Gabbiadini (Thursday, 12/03/2020) 

Sampdoria's Manolo Gabbiadini tested positive on Thursday. [Courtesy]

Sampdoria's Manolo Gabbiadini became the second Serie A player to test positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.

Verona, the last club that Sampdoria faced, said in a statement that they were "ceasing all activity" in light of Gabbiadni's positive test for coronavirus.

"He's got a bit of a fever, but he's fine. The club is currently activating all the isolation procedures required by law," the Genoa-based club said in a statement.

All Serie A matches have been suspended until April 3 due to the pandemic.

 

Juventus - Daniele Rugani (Wednesday, 11/03/2020)

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani. [Courtesy]

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani became the first Serie A player to test positive for Covid-19.

Juventus said in a statement that the 26-year-old Italy international, who played in matches against Brescia and SPAL in February had not shown any symptoms of the virus.

The Turin side are one of Europe's biggest clubs with a squad that includes five-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo, who is currently in Madeira, Portugal.

"The footballer, Daniele Rugani, has tested positive for Coronavirus-COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic.

"Juventus Football Club is currently activating all the isolation procedures required by law, including those who have had contact with him,” Juve said in a statement.

Four players at third-tier (Italy) Pianese had previously tested positive for the virus.

Rugani said he was fine on Thursday, shortly after his club said he had tested positive.

"You've read the news, so I want to reassure everyone worried about me, I'm fine.

"I urge everyone to respect the rules, because this virus makes no distinction! Let's do it for ourselves, for our loved ones and those around us,” Rugani said on Twitter.

Rugani joined Juventus from Empoli in 2013 although he then returned to Empoli on loan. He has been at Juve since 2015.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo sent a message of support Rugani, the sick and to the ‘amazing’ health professionals dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

"I would like to send my thoughts to everyone who has lost someone close to them, my solidarity to those who are fighting the virus, like my team-mate Daniele Rugani, and my continued support to the amazing health professionals putting their own lives at risk to save others,” Ronaldo posted on Social media.

 

Olympiakos, Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis (Tuesday, 10/03/2020)

Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis. [Courtesy]

The owner of Greece's most successful soccer club Olympiakos and English Championship side Nottingham Forest said on Tuesday he had contracted Covid-19.

The 52-year-old Greek businessman said he was well and receiving treatment.

"The recent virus has "visited" me and I felt obliged to let the public know," he said in a social media post. "I feel good as I take all the necessary measures and the doctors' instructions.

"I strongly advise all my fellow citizens to do the same. I wish all a quick recovery."

He was the first popular football stakeholder to contract the virus.

 

World Health Organization (WHO)

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.

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