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Spain’s Diego Llorente tests negative days after positive Covid test

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 27, 2016 Spain’s Diego Llorente attends a press conference after a training session in Schruns preparing the upcoming Euro 2016 European football championships. – Spain defender Diego Llorente has tested negative for Covid-19, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said on June 10, 2021, just days after a positive test sparked fears of infection within Spain’s Euro 2020 squad. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP)

Spain defender Diego Llorente has tested negative for Covid-19, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said Thursday, just days after a positive test sparked fears of infection within Spain’s Euro 2020 squad.

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The announcement came as Spain prepared to vaccinate its entire Euro 2020 squad just before the start of the tournament, which runs from Friday to July 11.

It means Spain now only has one infected player, its capitan Sergio Busquets who tested positive on Sunday.

“The confirmation PCR tests carried out on Wednesday 9 June were negative… suggesting (Llorente’s result on Tuesday) was a false positive,” the RFEF said.

The Leeds defender, 27, left the team’s training camp in Las Rozas near Madrid but could return on Friday if further tests confirm his negative result, the RFEF said.

“The player will undergo more PCR tests again today and tomorrow. If the results are confirmed as negative, Diego Llorente will return to training with the national team on Friday afternoon,” it said.

The entire squad tested negative on Wednesday, and underwent further testing on Thursday with the results due out later in the day.

The sudden decision to vaccinate the squad was taken after Llorente’s diagnosis on Tuesday, two days after Busquets.

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But coach Luis Enrique said he would keep Busquets on the list.

“Busquets will be on the list. For sure,” he told a press conference.

“I’m going to wait for him, I want him (on the team), we’re all going to wait for him.”

Since Sunday, Spain’s entire Euro squad has been in isolation at Las Rozas, with the team’s management on Tuesday saying it had set up a “parallel” squad of 17 reserves who may have to play if infections spread among its players.

The squad will be vaccinated at Las Rozas training camp on Friday morning “from 10:00 am by the armed forces”, a sports ministry spokesman told AFP.

The players will receive the first of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine with the second dose “administered within the normal timeframe… within a few weeks,” he said.

Spain are due to open their Euro campaign on Monday, playing Sweden in Group E in the southern city of Seville.

They will also face Poland on June 19 and Slovakia four days later, with both matches also being played in Seville.

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