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Lionel Messi 'in isolation' after testing positive for COVID-19

By Adam Schrader
Lionel Messi 'in isolation' after testing positive for COVID-19
Paris Saint-Germain's Lionel Messi warms up for the French Ligue 1 soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Lille OSC in October. He is one of four Paris Saint-Germain players who are in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, the club said Sunday. File Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE

Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Soccer star Lionel Messi is one of four Paris Saint-Germain players in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico, and Nathan Bitumazala have also tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement from the club on Sunday.

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"They are currently in isolation and are subject to the appropriate health protocol," the statement reads.

Messi, 34, had tested positive while in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina, according to Yahoo! Sports. It was not immediately clear if Messi would be able to play in any of the club's upcoming matches.

RELATED Soccer: Messi totals 3 assists, Neymar stretchered off in PSG win

The news comes after Messi had posted a message to his 296 million followers on Instagram on Saturday about the "virus that never ends."

"Hopefully 2022 brings a lot of health, which is what I wish for all of you in the new year," Messi wrote.

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Messi, who left Barcelona in August to join Paris Saint-Germain, is regarded as one of the greatest players in the sport of all time. He has scored one Ligue 1 goal, with five additional goals in Champion League matches.

Paris Saint-Germain also revealed that Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., known as Neymar, would continue his treatment in Brazil after sustaining ligament damage in his left ankle in November.

He is being treated by members of the Paris Saint-Germain medical and performance staff and expected to return to training in about three weeks.

On Monday, Paris Saint-Germain is scheduled to play Vannes in the Coupe de France round of 32.

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