Never before has the preparation of the Spanish football team been so difficult and chaotic. After two players tested positive, one of which was false, Spanish coach Luis Enrique provided a real shadow team and mass vaccination of all players on Friday morning.
Just a few days before the start of the European Championship, there is a lot of talk about the Spanish national football team. It started last weekend when Sergio Busquets tested positive for Covid-19.
As a precaution, the entire team was placed in a bubble to avoid an outbreak. Then trainer Luis Enrique called up six, not the planned four, extra players. These are Rodrigo Moreno, Pablo Fornals, Carlos Soler, Brais Mendez, Raul Albiol and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Less than a day later, Enrique announced he would add 11 extra players from the Spanish national under-21 team as a ‘shadow team’. These new players are in a separate bubble as a precaution. These two groups train and live in isolation from each other in the run-up to the upcoming competitions.
False positive test for player
The drama Luis Enrique feared seemed to come true when Diego Llorente also tested positive for Covid-19. However, a day later it turned out to be a false positive result.
Spanish team fully vaccinated on Friday morning
The fiasco continued when trainer Enrique demanded his players receive vaccinations before Euros 2020. Health Minister Darias said this was possible with Pfizer. However, Enrique insisted on the Janssen vaccine as the team would have full coverage with one jab.
In the end, Enrique drew the longest straw. The players received their vaccinations on Friday morning with a dose of Janssen. This is despite Spain not recommending the Janssen vaccine for people under the age of 40.
Vaccination just before championship not without risk
Vaccinating the Spanish players so shortly before the European Championship is not without risk, however. Vaccinated people can experience side effects. For example, this was reason the Belgian team decided to wait until after the European Championship. For this reason, Frank de Boer of the Netherlands wanted his players vaccinated much earlier so they would be fit well before the start of the matches.