COVID-19: Neuer, Goretzka to miss Germany’s Nations League games

Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka

TEAM captain Manuel Neuer and midfielder Leon Goretzka have tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Hungary and England.

The German Football Federation (DFB) tweeted on Wednesday that the two Bayern Munich players “have been isolated from the team and will depart the hotel.

“Due a to a positive coronavirus test within one of the players’ private circles, the medical team conducted a rapid antigen test on the whole national team.

“All members of the coaching staff and the team are required to test negative before travelling. Confirmed contacts of both players will be tested daily,” the DFB added later.

The team had gathered on Monday for the games Friday against Hungary and Monday in England.

The games are the last major tests ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar which starts on Nov. 20.

Germany coach Hansi Flick nominated uncapped Hoffenheim’s Oliver Baumann as a third goalkeeper alongside Marc-Andre ter Stegen of FC Barcelona and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Kevin Trapp.

The DFB said further replacements would be announced later in the day.

Team-mate Jonas Hofmann said that the positive tests “set off the alarm bells”.

DFB spokeswoman Franziska Wülle said that “after two years with the pandemic, the usual processes in our medical department are taking effect.”

All players had required a negative test before joining the team.

Neuer and Goretzka had on Sunday visited Munich’s beerfest, the Oktoberfest, with the Bayern Munich team.

It is not the first coronavirus cases among the Germany team.

Hofmann tested positive in March 2021 and had to leave with his close contact Marcel Halstenberg.

Later last year then Bayern Munich player Niklas Süle tested positive which forced several players out, including Joshua Kimmich who was unvaccinated at the time. (dpa/NAN)