Lionel Messi worried about contracting COVID
Argentina striker Lionel Messi confessed on Sunday that he worries about contracting COVID-19, a day he kicks off another Copa America with the national side amid a spate of infections among rival teams.
BRASILIA: Argentina striker Lionel Messi confessed on Sunday that he worries about contracting COVID-19, a day he kicks off another Copa America with the national side amid a spate of infections among rival teams. Players or officials from Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela tested positive for the virus even before the South American tournament kicked off on Sunday evening in Brasilia.
Messi, who will line up for Argentina in their opener against Chile in Rio de Janeiro, said the fear of contracting the virus was widespread in the squad.
"It worries us because it is a risk for everyone catching COVID," he told reporters. "We try to be careful but it's not easy. These things happen."
"We'll try to do all we can so no one gets it but sometimes it doesn't depend solely on ourselves."
Messi is not believed to have been vaccinated, even though the South American Football Confederation said in April it had received vaccinations and aimed to give all international players shots before the Copa America kicked off. Argentina was due to host this year's Copa America but withdrew at the last minute due to a surge of COVID-19 cases. The tournament was moved to Brazil, even though the death toll there is higher than anywhere outside the United States.
Although organizers claim they put strict protocols in place, Venezuela lost eight players to positive tests before the tournament's opening match. Agencies