Former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez catches COVID-19

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Al-Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez, the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder, said on Saturday he had tested positive for COVID-19 but was asymptomatic.

The 40-year-old, who renewed his contract with the Qatari club on July 5, said he will self-isolate as his team prepare for their first match on Saturday after the Qatar Stars League (QSL) was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today I won’t be able to join my team on their comeback to the official competition,” Xavi said in a statement.

“David Prats will be there on my behalf as head of the technical staff – coach to the Al-Sadd reserves.

“A few days ago, following the QSL protocol, I tested positive in the last COVID-19 test. Fortunately, I’m feeling ok, but I will be isolated until I am given the all-clear.

“When the health services allow it, I will be very eager to return to my daily routine and to work.”

The QSL resumed on Friday after being suspended since March due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

Third-place Al-Sadd announced on its website that Xavi would not be joining the rest of the team for its league game against Al-Khor later on Saturday.

Qatar has recorded 109,036 positive cases and attributed 164 deaths to the virus, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

– News Agencies


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