Five players in La Liga and Spanish second division test positive for coronavirus

Betis Joel Pedraza Juanmi

Five players in the top two divisions of Spanish football have tested positive for coronavirus, La Liga has confirmed.

All professional footballers in La Liga and Segunda Division are being tested ahead of a return to training and a possible resumption of the 2019-20 season, with Spain having been one of the European countries worst hit by the pandemic.

La Liga have confirmed that five players have tested positive, but all are asymptomatic. The identities of two are being kept anonymous in line with data protection rules in Spain, while Real Betis have announced that Joel Robles, Alfonso Pedraza and Juanmi Jimenez have been infected.

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The players will now be placed in isolation and will be tested in the coming days to see if they are still infected. La Liga said they would also offer tests to the families of the affected players.

An official statement said: "Specifically, between the La Liga Santander [first division] and La Liga SmartBank [second division] clubs, five positive cases have been detected in players, all of them asymptomatic and in the final phase of the disease, whose specific identity La Liga does not know in compliance with the laws on data protection."

Meanwhile, Dr Rafael Ramos, president of the Spanish Association of Football Doctors, has confirmed that entire La Liga sides will not need to be quarantined should one or more players fall ill.

"In La Liga, if there are positive tests during training, the whole squad will not be quarantined," he confirmed.

Clubs have started training again following an extended break to the Spanish season, with all major leagues around the world also having paused due to the pandemic.

Atletico Madrid returned to training on Saturday amid reports Renan Lodi has tested positive for coronavirus .

The club welcomed players back to their complex, but Lodi was seemingly not one of head coach Diego Simeone’s squad to report for duty.

The Brazilian left-back, 22, is asymptomatic,  Marca  reported, and must test negative before he can resume work at Atleti's facilities.

Atletico have not officially commented on Lodi's health situation, but the club appeared to allude to his situation with a Twitter message to supporters .

It read: "Renan Lodi salutes you from home. See you soon on the pitch!"

Atletico's players trained individually on Saturday, spread across various pitches to allow for social distancing.

Thomas Partey described Atletico Madrid's first training session since the suspension of football activities as "different", also saying the team "suffered a bit".

"It was different," Partey said after the training session. "We suffered a bit at first because we're not used to training and keeping a distance [between each other], but we'll get used to it.

"We're used to being on vacation, training and playing with friends, but we could only stay at home, so it's been difficult. Because of the situation though, we've had to get used to it. We had to keep training at home as much as we could."