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Several Premier League sides have had plans disrupted as their international players return home early - and needing to isolate - having tested positive for Covid-19 while away on Nations League duty. Or, worse, just a friendly.
Can we just cancel international breaks please during the pandemic- AFC OWEN (@OwenJBlanche) November 8, 2020
Below is a 20-man list of just some of the international stars who've had to miss club football, with some teams being hit particularly hard.
Liverpool, who really could do without this right now, lost Naby Keita ahead of the Merseyside derby when he tested positive while with the Guinea squad. New signing Kostas Tsimikas also had to isolate after testing positive with Greece.
Ffs we should have kept our players at home. Now we have problems with mixing.- carter_eesti (@johncarter_84) October 11, 2020
No wonder Jurgen Klopp expressed how "concerned" he is about players flying around the world during a pandemic, while not knowing precisely what each FA is doing in terms of safety. But at least Klopp is not Neil Lennon.
Celtic's manager has had to deal with no less than four key players (Odsonne Edouard, Hatem Elhamed, Ryan Christie and Nir Bitton) returning from international duty with coronavirus, putting a wrecking ball through his match plans.
Cancel international football. Recall our players @CelticFC- :four_leaf_clover: Celtic Info :four_leaf_clover: (@Celtic_Info) October 7, 2020
For Juventus, losing one player did enough damage. Ronaldo had to miss four Juventus games, including the Champions League defeat against Barcelona, as the Serie A champions struggled without their No 7.
Kylian Mbappe also tested positive while on France duty but even players who DON'T test positive can have problems. Arsenal had to fight to be able to use Kieran Tierney ahead of their game against Man City, as he supposedly had contact with a player who tested positive (Southampton's Stuart Armstrong) while on Scotland duty. Sheffield United faced a similar problem with John Egan and the Republic of Ireland squad.
Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for COVID-19 and has left the Portugal squad to isolate. We wish him speedy recovery. Playing international football when Covid rates are surging is recklessly misguided and puts players at incredible risk pic.twitter.com/rIANCk5yAi- Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) October 13, 2020
Meanwhile, an England vs Scotland under-21 game had to be rapidly called off after a positive Covid-19 test, with the likes of Liverpool's Harvey Elliott, Manchester United's Teden Mengi and Wolves' Luke Matheson all sent home.
On Wednesday, Croatia captain Domagoj Vida mind-blowingly played an entire half against Turkey, before finding out he had tested positive for coronavirus before the game.
It all adds a new level of danger and chaos to the international break. Clubs are facing injuries, packed schedules and the last thing they need is their players flying around the world to get together with a whole new set of teammates.
Domagoj Vida & the whole croatian team did COVID-tests this morning. However the results didn't come until tonight. When the results came, they found out Vida was positive, and the guy played 45 minutes against Turkey. Just cancel this national team break- Siavoush Fallahi (@SiavoushF) November 11, 2020
Below are just some of the players who've tested positive for Covid-19 while on international duty. Who knows how many more names can be added in a week from now?
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, Portugal)
Naby Keita (Liverpool, Guinea)
Kylian Mbappe (PSG, France)
Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace, Ghana)
Matteo Guendouzi (Hertha Berlin/Arsenal, France U21)
Callum Robinson (West Brom, Rep of Ireland)
Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan, Italy U21)
Stuart Armstrong (Southampton, Scotland)
Steve Mandanda (Marseille, France)
Weston McKennie (Juventus, USA)
Odsonne Edouard (Celtic, France U21)
Hatem Elhamed (Celtic, Israel)
Nir Bitton (Celtic, Israel)
Ryan Christie (Celtic, Scotland)
Thomas Kaminski (Blackburn, Belgium)
Domagoj Vida (Besiktas, Croatia)
Leo Dubois (Lyon, France)
Robert Skov (Hoffenheim, Denmark)
Tonny Vilhena (Krasnodar, Netherlands)
Kostas Tsimikas (Liverpool, Greece)
All imagery: PA Images
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