Luis Suarez will miss Uruguay’s blockbuster World Cup qualifier against Brazil after the striker tested positive for Covid-19, local football chiefs said on Monday.
The positive test means Suarez – Uruguay’s all-time leading goalscorer – will also miss his club Atletico Madrid’s La Liga outing against Barcelona, which would have been the first time he ran out against his former team.
“Tests have been carried out on all the members of the national team, with the result that the players Luis Suarez (and) Rodrigo Munoz and the official, Matias Faral, have tested positive for Covid-19,” the Uruguayan football federation said in a statement.
All three are “in good health”, it added. They join defender Matias Vina, who tested positive on Saturday after Uruguay’s 3-0 win over Colombia in Barranquilla.
Uruguay, who have not beaten Brazil since 2001, host the Brazilians (minus an injured Neymar) in Montevideo on Tuesday.
Brazil top the round-robin South American qualifying group for the 2022 finals in Qatar with nine points from three games, Argentina are on seven, Ecuador on six and Uruguay on six points.
Suarez joined Atletico in the summer after six years at Barcelona, leaving the Camp Nou as the club’s third all-time record goalscorer while playing a key role in 10 major trophy triumphs.
The manner of his Barcelona exit did not sit well with club captain Lionel Messi, who insisted his friend and former teammate deserved a farewell befitting his service to the club.