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Diego Simeone tests positive for COVID-19

Cholo is in quarantine and the team’s preseason plans are on hold.

RB Leipzig v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Photo by Julian Finney - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

There were rumblings that another coronavirus-positive test result was set come down after Atlético Madrid informed Cádiz that the sides’ planned preseason match on Sept. 15 could not go ahead as scheduled. On Saturday evening, we found out for certain.

An asymptomatic Diego Simeone is quarantining at home after he tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Friday. He is set to stay in isolation until the weekend of Sept. 26/27 — when Atlético’s league season will kick off against Granada at an empty Wanda Metropolitano. (The date and time of that match has not been confirmed reliably as yet.) As such, Cholo will miss his team’s friendly against Almería on Sept. 19 — if it’s played, that is.

Simeone is the fifth member of the first team — and the first non-player — to test positive for a disease that is sweeping once more through Spain (cases in the country now number over 570,000). Renan Lodi tested positive in May and nine other players displayed antibodies. Ángel Correa and Šime Vrsaljko got COVID-19 in August. Earlier this month, Santiago Arias and Diego Costa were sent home to isolate after they caught the virus, too.

LaLiga began its 2020/21 season on Saturday amid an uptick in COVID-19 diagnoses over the past month. Cases had leveled off in Spain during the first week of July but have risen once more amid restriction relaxations. The league has started a new campaign in dangerous times, and Atlético have proven to be one of the more susceptible teams to coronavirus. Any further diagnoses — not just in the capital, but around LaLiga — surely would raise serious questions about the feasibility of powering through a 38-round season, even without fans in the stands.