Garay becomes first Liga player known to have coronavirus

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Valencia’s Argentinian defender Ezequiel Garay (C) challenges Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi(L) during the Spanish league football match Valencia CF against FC Barcelona at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on January 25, 2020. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP)

Valencia’s Argentinian centre-back Ezequiel Garay said on Sunday he had tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first player in the Spanish Liga known to have the disease.

“It’s clear that 2020 has started on the wrong foot,” he posted on Instagram alongside a smiling selfie giving the thumbs up. “I tested positive for coronavirus, I feel very well and now all that’s left is to do what the health authorities say, which is to isolate myself.”

Garay, 33, was in the stands on Tuesday for the Champions League round-of-16 second leg match behind closed doors at the Mestalla where Valencia lost 4-3 to Atalanta, who are from Bergamo in Lombardy, and were eliminated by an aggregate score of 8-4.

By Sunday morning, Spain had recorded 6,391 cases and 196 deaths.

All football is suspended.

Real Madrid’s professional football and basketball squads were placed in quarantine on Thursday after a player from the basketball team tested positive for coronavirus.

Barcelona said on Friday they would “suspend all activity until further notice” as a precautionary measure.

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