COVID-19 continues to hit Barcelona, Atletico Madrid in La Liga
Diego Simeone, manager of Atletico Madrid, test positive for COVID-19. /CFP

Diego Simeone, manager of Atletico Madrid, test positive for COVID-19. /CFP

More players tested positive for COVID-19 in La Liga on Thursday. Atletico Madrid announced that Koke, Antoine Griezmann, Hector Herrera, Joao Felix and their manager Diego Simeone are all under quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus.

"After the LaLiga Christmas break, the entire first team squad and the members of the coaching staff underwent PCR tests, in accordance with the La Liga protocol. Simeone, Koke, Griezmann, Herrera and Joao Félix have tested positive for COVID-19," Atletico said in a statement. "All of them are asymptomatic and isolating at their respective homes, in strict compliance with the health authorities' guidelines."

Atletico are challenging Rayo Vallecano on January 2, 2022 in their next La Liga game. Players who test positive for COVID-19 will have to stay in isolation for at least 10 days. That's not good news for Atletico which are fifth on the standings table and in direct competition for next season's UEFA Champions League qualification with the fourth Rayo.

Philippe Coutinho of Barcelona tests positive for COVID-19. /CFP

Philippe Coutinho of Barcelona tests positive for COVID-19. /CFP

Another Spanish heavyweights club Barcelona was hit by the coronavirus too. They confirmed on Thursday that Sergino Dest, Abde Ezzalzouli and Philippe Coutinho all tested positive for COVID-19.

That made a total of 10 players out of the coming game against RCD Mallorca at Camp Nou on January 2, 2022 due to the coronavirus. Moreover, Barca have a long list of people struggling with injuries. Sergio Busquets, Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay, Pedri, Sergi Roberto and Martin Braithwaite are all on that list.

As a result, Barca now only have nine first-team players, including two goalkeepers, ahead of the matchup with Mallorca.

According to La Liga rules, Barcelona can still play if they have at least five-first-team members in a 13-player squad. B team and academy players can be promoted to the first team to make it happen.

Barca are currently seventh on the standings table with 28 points.

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