Just two days before their opening game against Hungary, Portugal’s Joao Cancelo has tested positive for COVID-19. The news will send panic around those at the competition and within the Portugal squad. The Manchester City fullback is the only positive case so far, but, considering he has been in and around the squad, other cases may appear.
We already saw Spain suffer just before the Euros with Sergio Busquets testing positive. The Spaniards have now had their first dose of the vaccine to protect the players from another outbreak. In the end, Luis Enrique’s side were rather lucky with just one player testing positive, therefore allowing for their preparation to continue.
As for Portugal, however, set to play their first game in just two days, their preparation may be well and truly damaged. They’ll be desperate to avoid any more cases within their ranks; desperate to be at full strength and fulfil their role as one of the favourites.
Joao Cancelo Tests Positive for COVID-19
Huge Blow for Portugal
Portugal’s squad is the best it has been for a long time, perhaps even better than the squad that won the Euros in 2016. They have several household names to join Cristiano Ronaldo. And Joao Cancelo is one of those names. The fullback enjoyed his best season yet at the Etihad, winning the League Cup and Premier League whilst cementing his place in the side.
Without him, Portugal may struggle to have the desired impact. They’ll still have the likes of Diogo Jota, Ronaldo and Joao Felix going forward as well as Ruben Dias an Pepe at the back. Cancelo would have boosted the side even more, but it looks almost certain that he’ll miss the opening game against Hungary.
For UEFA, However, the outbreak should come as no surprise. Hosting a tournament in several different countries in the middle of a global pandemic was never gonna end well, as proven by Cancelo.
Embed from Getty Images