Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane (pictured) has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss his side’s Champions League match against Liverpool on Tuesday evening. It’s abysmal timing for the Spanish club.
Real captain Sergio Ramos is already ruled out through an injury he picked up on international duty, so the 27-year-old Frenchman was set to play a vital senior role at the Bernabeu. It’s now likely Varane will have to miss both legs as he self-isolates.
Both team’s central defenders are cursed, clearly. Varane, Ramos, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk will all be absent from the quarter-final first leg. Nacho and Militao are decent back-ups for Real, but Varane dropping out makes Liverpool warm favourites in the tie, I think.
It’s understood that Real boss Zinedine Zidane is even considering playing Marcelo as a central defender in a back three. We’ll see.
“Real Madrid CF informs that our player Raphael Varane tested positive in the Covid-19 test he underwent this morning,” a terse club statement announced.
Varane had been rested for the La Liga match against Eibar on Saturday with the Liverpool game in mind. The positive test leaves Nacho and Eder Militao as the centre-back options for the first leg.
Madrid are also due to take on Barcelona in El Clasico on Saturday in a fixture crucial to the title race in La Liga.