Coronavirus has taken on toll all across the world in several aspects, with football being no exception. The beautiful game had attempted to stand tall amid the virus' spread throughout Europe but was eventually forced to halt after figures in the game contracted COVID-19.
The first players to test positive for COVID-19
- Timo Hubers, first in World Football; Daniele Rugani, first in Serie A; Callum Hudson-Odoi, first in Premier League; Ezequiel Garay, first in La Liga
Closed stadiums was the first measure implemented to contain the spread, with the Premier League only banning pre-game handshakes. Eventually, play was suspended in Europe's top six leagues, with UEFA postponing the Champions League and Europe League.
The turning point in most of the competitions but not all was the fact that football figures contracted or were suspected of contracting the coronavirus. Here are the list of confirmed players, coaches, and executives who were caught COVID-19.
Status in Europe's top club competitions:
UEFA Champions League: postponed
UEFA Europa League: postponed indefinitely
Premier League: suspended until April 04
La Liga: suspended for Matchday 28 and 29
Serie A: suspended until April 03
Ligue 1: suspended indefinitely
Bundesliga: suspended until April 02
Primeira Liga: suspended indefinitely
*For detailed info regarding the statuses of Europe's top leagues, check out our live and updated coronavirus guide.
Bundesliga: Luca Kilian (Paderborn)
2. Bundesliga: Timo Hübers (Hannover), James Horn (Hannover)
Premier League: Mikel Arteta (Arsenal head coach), Callum Hudson Odoi (Chelsea), Pepe Reina (Aston Villa)
Serie A: Manolo Gabbiadini (Sampdoria), Omar Colley (Sampdoria), Albin Ekdal (Sampdoria), Antonino La Gumina (Sampdoria), Morten Thorsby (Sampdoria), Fabio DePaoli (Sampdoria), Bartosz Bereszynski (Sampdoria), Germán Pezzella (Fiorentina), Patrick Cutrone (Fiorentina/on loan from Wolves), Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Daniel Maldini (AC Milan)
La Liga: Ezequiel Garay (Valencia), Eliaquim Mangala (Valencia), José Luis Gayà (Valencia),
Segunda Divison: Jonathas de Jesus (Elche)
Super League Greece: Evangelos Marinakis (Olympiakos owner)
Liga MX: Alberto Marrero (Atletico San Luis president), Enrique Bonilla (Liga MX presient)
Japan: Kozo Tashima (head of Japan Football Association and deputy head of Japan's Olympic committee)
League One: James Bolton (Portsmouth), Andy Cannon (Portsmouth), Sean Raggett (Portsmouth), Haji Mnoga (Portsmouth)
Chinese Super League: Marouane Fellaini (Shandong Luneng)
Others: Paolo Maldini, Rustu Recber, Lorenzo Sanz (sadly passed away), Pape Diouf (sadly passed away)
Updates on those affected
Pepe Reina relives the worst moment after contracting COVID-19
Pepe Reina unfortunately contracted the coronavirus and is doing well. However, the Spanish goalkeeper revealed that this was not always the case, admitting that at one point, he could not breathe for nearly half-an-hour.
Get well soon Pepe Reina pic.twitter.com/rHJHZ3YorL— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 1, 2020
Former Marseille presient Pape Diouf loses his life to coronavirus
Pape Diouf, the former president of Marseille, has sadly lost his life after suffering from coronavirus-related complications. Tributes poured in for the Senegalese man after his tragic death.
It is with great sadness that Olympique de Marseille learned of the death of Pape Diouf.— Olympique de Marseille (@OM_English) March 31, 2020
Pape will remain in the hearts of the Marseillais forever, as one of the great architects in the club's history.
We send our sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/oASMjZJ8rI
Turkish icon Rustu Recber in critical condition
Turkish icon Rustu Recber is said to be in critical situation after contracting COVID-19. The retired goalkeeper who famously led his nation to the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in 2002, is Turkey's most capped player.
Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz passes away
Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz has sadly passed away after contracting the coronavirus. The 76-year-old, who was the president at the Bernabeu from 1995 to 2000, died on Saturday. He was at the helm of Los Blancos when they signed the likes of Roberto Carlos, Clarence Seedorf and Davor Suker and oversaw two European Cup wins.
With Lorenzo Sanz as president of @realmadriden, the club won two European Cups and an Intercontinental Cup, a league title, a Spanish Super Cup, a basketball league title and the Saporta Cup. #RealMadrid pic.twitter.com/Qnk7pqDkSu— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) March 21, 2020
Fellaini the first footballer in the Chinese Super League to contract the virus
Despite being the former epicenter of COVID-19, no professional footballer had contracted the coronavirus until Marouane Fellaini. The former Man Utd man has tested positive and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Shandong Luneng confirm Marouane Fellaini tests positive for coronavirus. "The official test confirmed that the club player Fellaini tested positive for the new coronavirus during the quarantine observation period."— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) March 22, 2020
The Maldinis catch the coronavirus
AC Milan have confirmed that the legendary Paolo Maldini and his son Daniel, who plays for the Rossoneri, have both tested positive for the coronavirus.
Paolo Maldini and his son Daniel tested #coronavirus positive— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) March 21, 2020
Dybala the latest Juventus star to test positive for COVID-19
Dybala is now the third Juve player to test positive for the coronavirus. The Argentine superstar took to social media to inform his fans, revealing that he and his girlfriend have both contracted the virus.
Hi everyone, I just wanted just to inform you that we have received the results for the Covid-19 test and both Oriana and I have tested positive. Luckily we are in perfect conditions. Thanks for your messages.— Paulo Dybala (@PauDybala_JR) March 21, 2020
Liga MX president contracts COVID-19
Enrique Bonilla, the president of Liga MX, has unfortunately tested positive for the virus. The Mexican top-flight official did not exhibit symptoms, which hopefully means he will make a speedy recovery.
President of Liga MX , positive test for CV19. https://t.co/fGOrTq9QGm— Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) March 21, 2020
Four Portsmouth players test positive
Portsmouth have confirmed that James Bolton, Andy Cannon, Haji Mnoga, and Sean Raggett have tested positive for the coronavirus. Fortunately, they are showing no to mild symptoms and have self-quarantined themselves.
Jorge Jesus cleare of the virus
After initially testing positive, a second test was carried out as it had been a weak result. Fortunately for Jorge Jesus, the second one came in negative, clearing the Portuguese tactician of COVID-19.
Matuidi the latest high-profiled player to test positive
Juventus revealed that Matuidi has joined Rugani in testing positive for COVID-19. Fortunately, the World Cup winner "is asymptomatic and is fine".
OFFICIAL: Juventus have confirmed that Blaise Matuidi has tested positive for COVID-19.— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 17, 2020
The midfielder "is in voluntary home isolation, is asymptomatic and is fine." pic.twitter.com/IfoVN2jXFr
Head of Japan Football Asociation contracts COVID-19
Kozo Tashima, the head of Japan Football Association and deputy head of Japan's Olympic committee, has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Japanese official was in the USA for the SheBelieves Cup and given that USWNT and Japan faced off in that competition, many began worrying that the health of the women's world champions might have been compromised. USSF released a statement saying that they do not believe the ladies contracted COVID-19 as there had been no interaction with Mr. Tashima.
Statement from the #USSF re: the positive #COVID19 test of Japan FA prez Kozo Tashima. "Presently, no one associated with U.S. Soccer is displaying symptoms, and all players are currently at their homes, dispersed throughout the nation." pic.twitter.com/HYVHZs5dhl— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) March 17, 2020
Six cases confirmed in the Espanyol squad
Espanyol revealed that six players have tested positive for coronavirus but have chosen not to keep their identities confidential. Furthermore, the Catalan outfit believe that members of their coaching staff might have also gotten infected.
"All of those infected have shown mild symptoms and are currently following the medical recommendations,"according to the club.
COMUNICAT OFICIAL | Detectats 6 casos de COVID-19 al RCD Espanyol de Barcelona: https://t.co/jxtE8s75uc— RCD Espanyol de Barcelona (@RCDEspanyol) March 17, 2020
COMUNICADO OFICIAL | Detectados 6 casos de COVID-19 en el RCD Espanyol de Barcelona: https://t.co/C4wfhrMg64#Volem | #EspanyoldeBarcelona | #RCDEpic.twitter.com/bD3VA1mMav
Jorge Jesus tests positive for COVID-19 but is feeling fine
Jorge Jesus, the Flamengo coach who led his side to a remarkable Copa Libertadores title, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Fortunately, the Portuguese tactician revealed that he is feeling fine despite contracting the virus.
Garay shares window kiss with wife
The Valencia defender, having tested positive for COVID-19, has been under self-isolation but has shared a heartwarming kiss with his wife… through the window.
Arteta doing fine
Similar to Hudson-Odoi, Arteta also took to social media to offer an update on his condition. The Arsenal boss revealed that he is doing well while also congratulating the Premier League for suspending the league.
Thanks for your words and support.Feeling better already.We're all facing a huge & unprecedented challenge.Everyone's health is all that matters right now.Protect each other by following the guidelines & we'll come through this together.Well done PL for making the right decisions pic.twitter.com/0rnwHmQWha— Mikel Arteta (@m8arteta) March 13, 2020
Hudson-Odoi recovers from the virus
After it was confirmed Hudson-Odoi tested positive for COVID-19, he posted an update shortly afterward on Twitter, informing fans that he had recovered from the virus.
Thank you for all your good wishes, as I said in the video I'm feeling good and hope to see you all soon!! pic.twitter.com/hn5d0ikm60— Callum Hudson-Odoi (@Calteck10) March 13, 2020