Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the biggest soccer stars and among the most popular athletes in the world, tested positive for the coronavirus, confirmed Tuesday by the Portuguese soccer federation. The announcement by the federation confirmed that Ronaldo did not show signs of Covid-19 and that he had entered isolation away from the rest of the players in Portugal. On Wednesday in Lisbon, those players continued their preparations for a match against Sweden.

AP

The remaining players went through new tests on Tuesday morning following the positive case, “the Portuguese federation said in a statement.” “All tested negative.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, 35, will miss the Nations Cup match against Sweden on Wednesday, the federation said.

Ronaldo played for Portugal last week in a friendly against Spain and on Sunday in a scoreless Nations League draw against France. On Monday, on his social media accounts, he shared a picture of himself dining with his smiling teammates.

“On and off the field, together,” the caption read.

Cristiano Ronaldo: The positive test by Ronaldo reinforced the worst fear of some European clubs who had fought with FIFA, the global governing body of soccer, to amend rules forcing them to release players during scheduled international breaks to represent their national teams. Many clubs feared that sending their players on long trips to virus hot spots could leave them vulnerable to infection or cause them to carry the virus back to their European teams, particularly in South America, where qualifying for the 2022 World Cup began last week.

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Players that fly now will face quarantines or other limitations upon their return to some nations, including the United States, and likely even miss league games.


Earlier this year, when the virus swept through his team and the Italian league system, Ronaldo, who plays for the Italian club Juventus, was spared infection. In the first round of cases earlier this year, at least three Juventus players — Paulo Dybala, Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi — tested positive.

As Europe’s top leagues launch their new seasons and players return home for national team duty, Ronaldo isn’t the first soccer star to test positive this fall. When he showed up for a training camp with France’s national team in August, weeks after the Brazilian star Neymar and two of his teammates at the French club Paris St.-Germain were thought to have contracted the virus during a postseason vacation in Spain, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was found to be positive.

Peru’s soccer federation reported on Monday that two of its players would miss Tuesday night’s qualifier against Brazil in Lima after testing positive.

While several of Europe’s top leagues were able to restart their seasons at the height of the pandemic this spring after pausing play for several months, the coronavirus remains a major threat because players are free to circulate in their populations, unlike in the small environments set up for the Champions League knockout rounds this summer or the recently concluded N.B.A. season.

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Liverpool, England’s reigning Premier League winner, has had a positive test on many players in recent weeks. The most recent was Forward Xherdan Shaqiri, though his test outcome was later reclassified as a false positive. Earlier cases involving Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mané followed.

In the top league in the United States, Major League Baseball, after players or team members tested positive, some games have been postponed or rescheduled this year. The league announced on Monday that it had postponed the next three matches involving the Colorado Rapids after that team’s outbreak.

M.L.S. said no new cases had been reported by the team, but that the decision to cancel the games “was made based on the overall number of existing cases and in consultation with the Department of Public Health and Environment of Colorado.”

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