Messi from Soccer-PSG and three others are positive on COVID-19. Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Football – Ligue 1 – Lorient v Paris St Germain – Stade du Moustoir, Lorient, France – December 22, 2021 Lionel Messi of Paris St Germain during the REUTERS / Stephane Mahe match

(Reuters) – Paris St Germain striker Lionel Messi and three other players are positive at COVID-19, the French Ligue 1 club announced on Sunday.

Argentine international Messi joined PSG from the Barcelona boys’ club in August, and the 34-year-old has scored six goals for the Parisian team in 16 games in all competitions.

Defender Juan Bernat, reserve goalkeeper Sergio Rico and midfielder Nathan Bitumazala were other players who gave positive tests. PSG said that four players are in isolation and are subject to appropriate health protocols.

Maurizio Pochettino’s team is first in the Ligue 1 with 46 points after 19 games, 13 points more than second-placed Nice. They should travel to the third division Vannes on Monday for the 1/32 finals of the French Cup.

Pochettino said he is not sure if Messi, who is currently in Argentina, will play in their next league match, at Olympique Lyonnais on January 9th.

“Messi has been in regular contact with our medical team and when he has a negative test, he will travel to France, but we don’t know anything more than that. I don’t know if he will be involved against Lyon.

“Until he gets a negative test in Argentina, he won’t be able to travel to France. So it’s all on the test when he can travel … we’ll assess when he’s ready to play.”

France reported 219,126 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours on Saturday, the fourth day in a row that more than 200,000 cases have been reported in the country.

France has joined the United States, India, Brazil, Britain and Russia with more than 10 million cases.

PSG also said Brazilian striker Neymar, who is off the field due to an ankle injury, was about three weeks away from returning to training.

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