Real Madrid CF has been dealt with yet another novel coronavirus-related blow this summer. The club officially announced on Wednesday that their star summer signing, David Alaba, has tested positive for COVID-19 just a few days after he was officially welcomed by the club.
Earlier on Wednesday, Real Madrid revealed that the Austrian defender returned an inconclusive result in a routine test that was conducted at the club's training centre at Valdebebas. He was then subjected to a more accurate RT-PCR test at a nearby hospital in the Spanish capital. Unfortunately, the test confirmed that he has contracted COVID-19.
A club doctor was present to oversee testing, and Alaba was escorted back to Valdebebas before being allowed to return home to isolate. He will stay under quarantine until he returns a negative test result and is cleared to rejoin his teammates in training.
Alaba's COVID-19 diagnosis is a big blow for the club, who are also left without star forward Karim Benzema. The Frenchman has been unable to return to Madrid after also testing positive for COVID-19. He has been forced to stay in Lyon while he awaits a negative test result and clearance to return to Madrid.
Benzema was scheduled to fly back earlier this month after enjoying a short summer break. He is arriving later than most of his teammates after France went deep into the European Championship. His return to training has been pushed further back because of his diagnosis.
Meanwhile, Alaba had just been presented as Real Madrid's big summer signing. He joined his new teammates in a training session a few days ago, and it is unclear if any of the other Real Madrid players have been sent into isolation as a result of being in close contact with the stricken player.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti will be disappointed not to have the full squad at his disposal with less than a month left before the start of the 2021/22 season. He would have wanted more time to get to know his players and to see how they work with each other on the pitch.