Juventus has confirmed that their centre-back, Daniele Rugani, has tested positive for novel coronavirus infection.

The defending Serie A champions revealed on Wednesday that Italian defender Rugani has contracted COVID-19. However, as of now, no symptoms of the virus have been detected.

The club released a statement where it has been mentioned that the Juventus Football Club is activating all the isolation procedures required by law, which includes the census of those who have had contact with Rugani.

The news of Rugani's infection came just six days before Juventus is scheduled to play against Lyon in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round-of-16.

It is understood that the 25-year-old defender is the first athlete in Italy's top division football to test positive. Rugani used his twitter account to assure his fans that the he is "fine" after contracting COVID-19.

He wrote, "You will have read the news and that's why I want to reassure all those who are worrying about me, I'm fine. I urge everyone to respect the rules because this virus makes no distinctions! Let's do it for ourselves, for our loved ones and for those around us #thankyou."

People who come in contact with a COVID-19 infected person are recommended to self-isolate for at least 14 days. When Juventus played Inter Milan behind closed doors on Sunday, Rugani was on the bench. His diagnosis means that he, along with his teammates, coaches, and other staff members must be quarantined for at least 14 days.

This means it would be impossible for Juve to play its Champions League game against Lyon next week. The news might force quarantine for Inter Milan's players and staff members as well.

Rugani isn't the only European player to test positive for COVID-19. On Wednesday, Hannover 96, a German football team, confirmed that one of its squad members also tested positive and is currently kept in isolation.

So far, no country has been affected by the virus as heavily as China. In December, the novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan and on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed it to be a pandemic.

Daniele Rugani
Daniele Rugani Getty

Italy is the worst-hit European country so far. According to the WHO, the country has seen 10,149 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 631 people have already died as a result.

The country has strongly responded to the outbreak, as the government has implemented a national lockdown and suspended all domestic sport until at least April 3.