Stockholm (AFP) – One of the stars of Sweden’s national squad, Dejan Kulusevski, has tested postive for Covid-19 and will miss the team’s Euro 2020 opener against Spain next week, coach Janne Andersson said Tuesday.
Kulusevski, who plays for Italian club Juventus, “will not be available for the game against Spain, as it appears today,” Andersson told a press conference.
In their first game of the European Championship, Sweden are due to face Spain on Monday, which finds itself in a similar situation after the withdrawal of team captain Sergio Busquets after he too tested positive for the virus.
The announcement came as Sweden’s national squad is still reeling from the loss of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had to cancel his much-touted return to the national team due to a knee injury in mid-May.
Sweden’s team doctor Anders Valentin said they believed Kulusevski had contracted the virus at some point during the three days off the players were given after returning from a friendly against Armenia.
He said the player had not really been in contact with other players during the last few days and that there was “a good chance he hadn’t infected anyone else.”
During the press conference the team confirmed he had been in contact with teammates in recent hours.
While none of them have tested positive or shown any symptoms, four of them who have been close to the player are under special scrutiny.
“We won’t bring in anyone else to replace Dejan,” Andersson said, adding that he hoped that Kulusevski would be back soon.
After Spain, Sweden are set to face Slovakia on June 18.
Before Spain and Sweden, the Netherlands also had to leave out goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week.
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