The most fearsome news in the days prior to the start of the Eurocup was known around 10:00 p.m. this Sunday, coinciding with the first day of rest for Luis Enrique’s players in the Las Rozas bubble. Suddenly, the Spanish Football Federation released a statement to regret that Sergio Busquets, the captain of La Roja, threw a result positive in the last PCR test that has been done this morning in the concentration of the selection. The rest of the members of the absolute team have all been negative but will have to remain in quarantine.
The Federation medical services have adopted all the necessary measures in a case of these characteristics in accordance with the protocols established by both the Ministry of Health and UEFA, so that the Barça midfielder has abandoned the concentration in a medicalized vehicle.
Both the workers and the close contacts of the player will remain isolated for prevention in the Ciudad del Fútbol of Las Rozas, headquarters of the national team, and will be activated custom workout routines, maintaining the isolation, to continue with the preparation of the European. The appropriate sports measures will be evaluated shortly depending on the evolution of the captain of the national team.
For now, Luis Enrique’s team will not play on Tuesday in Butarque the match he had planned to play against Lithuania, second and last in preparation for the European Championship. This meeting will be held under the direction of Luis De la Fuente and with members of the U21 national team who has just fallen in the semifinals of the European category against Portugal. If no more cases arise, there should be no major problems for Spain to play its first match of the championship next Monday, June 14, in La Cartuja of Seville, before Sweden. The problem would be of unusual severity in the event of an outbreak, with the risk of even not being able to participate in the European.
🚨 OFFICIAL RELEASE | Sergio Busquets
The RFEF regrets to announce that its captain Sergio Busquets has tested positive in the last PCR tests carried out this morning at the National Team concentration in Las Rozas.
Spanish Soccer Team (@SeFutbol) June 6, 2021
The FEF communicated that it will fully refund the amount of the ticket to all those who wish it and communicate it before 2:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon. In the same way, it will refund 20% of it, to those who do decide to attend the game in Butarque. In addition, all communication and marketing events scheduled for the first weekly day at the Las Rozas Media Center are canceled.
The disturbing contagion of Busquets arose just when Spain fulfilled its first work week in Las Rozas Without having heard the two words that are most scary: injury and coronavirus. Avoiding the former is more a matter of luck than anything else. The muscular discomfort that Laporte suffered during the game against Portugal and those that Adama dragged at the end of the season have been the only setbacks. Nothing serious.
But to keep the covid away, the Federation had been forced to take a series of very demanding measures that have completely altered the coexistence of the internationals with respect to other championships. This Sunday was the first day of rest of the two that are planned before the debut in the Eurocup (against Sweden, June 14) and the players could not get out of their bubble.
Two years ago, during the World Cup in Russia, it was not strange to find footballers dining together in a restaurant near the Kuban River. Even more evident was their presence on the small island of Ré during Euro 2016. There, the internationals they took advantage of the days off to stroll, eat and shop in absolute tranquility through the alleys of the charming village of Saint-Martin (2,500 inhabitants).
All that today sounds like a chimera because of the pandemic. The selection began its concentration a few days after the alarms went off at the headquarters of the Federation for a positive in the sub-21. That episode caused controls to be even more extreme and contacts to be limited as much as possible. In the residence of the Ciudad del Fútbol they remain only the players, the coaching staff and the essential support staff, each in a single room. The rest of the Federation employees who accompany the national team maintain their own bubble in a hotel in Torrelodones.
Both Luis Enrique and the Federation know that such a long concentration can be tedious, and more in these circumstances, so they have arranged everything necessary to try to cope with it, including a spectacular game room that does not lack detail: darts, table football, racing simulators, ping-pong table … The living room, next to the gymnasium and the dining room, are the places where a group is held. However, they are so many hours that many also take advantage of to spend time in their rooms reading, communicating with their families or playing games on their own consoles.
The effort to normalize the concentration has also been noted in the attention to the media. There still being personal interviews, with the difference that the interviewee appears through a bulkhead.