Manchester City player Joao Cancelo has withdrawn from the national team after testing positive for Covid-19. As Portugal step up preparations for the European championships Euro 2021, the full-back was forced to withdraw from the competition to avoid spreading the infection to other teammates.
An official statement from the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) confirming the development read:
“Under-21 international Diogo Dalot will join the National Team’s delegation in Budapest to prepare for his debut at Euro 2020.
“The AC Milan player will replace Joao Cancelo, who tested positive for Covid-19 following a rapid antigen test carried out this Saturday by the FPF Health and Performance Unit.
“The Hungarian health authorities were immediately informed and the player – who is doing well – was placed in isolation. The result of the test carried out by USP was confirmed by an RT-PCR test carried out on Joao Cancelo also on Saturday and whose result was known on Sunday morning.
“In accordance with the Covid-19 protocol defined by UEFA before the Euro 2020 matches, all players and members of the entourage underwent RT-PCR tests on Saturday. The results, with the exception of Joao Cancelo, were negative.
“The Hungarian health authorities became aware of compliance with the protection procedures, fully respected according to the UEFA protocol, in a group that also has a high rate of vaccine coverage and authorised the National Team to comply with the stipulated plan for the European Championship without any changes.”
Cancelo made Fernando Santos’ final 26-man squad of the Portuguese national team for the tournament. City teammates Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva are also part of the squad.
Defending European champions Portugal parading other top players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes are among the favourites to win the Euros.
After a successful campaign with the Blues where he won a Premier League and League Cup double, the 27-year-old was hoping to add another medal to his growing collection. But that is not to be as he will now watch the competition from isolation.
Portugal are in Group F alongside Hungary, Germany, and current world champions France. The Navigators play their first match against Hungary on Tuesday before dates against France and Germany later in the month.
Wishing our City contingent in the competition the best, and Cancelo speedy recovery.