Zidane takes Madrid training after self-isolation, Perez positive for COVID-19

By Sports Desk February 02, 2021

Zinedine Zidane led a Real Madrid training session for the first time since contracting coronavirus, while club president Florentino Perez has tested positive for COVID-19.

Madrid head coach Zidane was forced to undergo a period of self-isolation and has not been in the dugout since the shock 2-1 defeat to Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey two weeks ago.

Since then, Los Blancos have beaten Deportivo Alaves 4-1 and suffered a surprise 2-1 loss against Levante in LaLiga.

Madrid have slipped to third and sit 10 points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid, who still have a game in hand, but Zidane has a full week to prepare for their next outing against Huesca on Saturday.

Although Zidane was back on the training pitch, Sergio Ramos, Lucas Vazquez, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde were only with the group for part of the session.

Dani Carvajal trained indoors while Nacho Fernandez remained at home after testing positive for COVID-19, a fate shared by Madrid president Perez.

A brief club statement read: "Real Madrid would like to inform that our president Florentino Perez has tested positive in the COVID-19 tests that he periodically undergoes, although he is not showing any symptoms."

Related items

  • I can't name 10 clubs who could buy Haaland – Dortmund's Zorc disagrees with Raiola assessment I can't name 10 clubs who could buy Haaland – Dortmund's Zorc disagrees with Raiola assessment

    Michael Zorc disagrees with Mino Raiola's assessment that as many as 10 clubs would realistically be in the running to buy Erling Haaland if he wanted to leave Borussia Dortmund.

    The Norway international has been prolific since joining the Bundesliga club midway through the 2019-20 season, scoring 43 goals in as many appearances in all competitions.

    Haaland's contract is rumoured to include an agreement allowing him to leave for a €75million fee at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

    Raiola, the striker's agent, said this week that a list of potential buyers only just reaches double figures, with four possible destinations in the Premier League.

    While Dortmund sporting director Zorc has no problem with Raiola speaking out on Haaland's future, he believes even fewer clubs would appeal to the 20-year-old if he decides to move on.

    "It is clear that Erling Haaland can't and won't pick just any club after his time at Dortmund," he told a media conference.

    "I can't even pick out 10 possible clubs. So, there is no dissent. It was a normal statement he [Raiola] has to give from time to time. 

    "We are happy to have Erling here with us and that he has scored in the last games and proven his value for us. I can only say that we will continue to plan with him and I don't think he is uncomfortable here in Dortmund."

    Zorc also acknowledged the impressive form of ex-Dortmund striker Alexander Isak, who has scored 12 goals in 16 LaLiga starts for Real Sociedad this season. 

    The Spanish side acquired him in a deal worth a reported €7.5m in 2019, but Dortmund managed to retain a buy-back clause. 

    Zorc did not reveal if Dortmund were interested in re-signing Isak, but confirmed the club are keeping a close eye on the Sweden international's progress. 

    "We think he made the right step going to Real Sociedad," he added. "In the beginning he impressed as a substitute and scored goals. 

    "He has become a regular starter this season and scored a lot of goals in the past weeks. Of course, we are following all that."

  • Henry steps down as Montreal head coach Henry steps down as Montreal head coach

    Thierry Henry has stepped down as Montreal head coach after one season in charge.   

    Former Arsenal and Barcelona forward Henry was appointed by the MLS side in November 2019 following his sacking by Ligue 1 outfit Monaco earlier in the year after just 20 games in charge.   

    He guided the club to the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs in his solitary campaign, where they were eliminated in the first round by the New England Revolution.   

    Montreal had to relocate to the United States last year amid the coronavirus pandemic and would have to do so again when the new season starts in April.   

    Henry, who had been linked with the managerial position at Championship club Bournemouth before Jonathan Woodgate was appointed, cited the continued separation from his family as the motivating factor behind his decision.   

    "It is with a heavy heart that I've decided to take this decision," Henry said in a club statement. "The last year has been an extremely difficult one for me personally. Due to the worldwide pandemic, I was unable to see my children.

    "Unfortunately, due to the ongoing restrictions and the fact that we will have to relocate to the US again for several months will be no different.  

    "The separation is too much of a strain for me and my kids. Therefore, it is with much sadness that I must take the decision to return to London and leave Montreal." 

    Sporting director Olivier Renard added: "Thierry's departure is unfortunate and premature because this was very promising, but he informed me of his desire to be back with his family because the situation was and remains very difficult for both him and his family.  

    "I want to thank him, first on a human level because he led the players by example last year by being away from his family, but also from a sporting level and for what we have built together since his arrival. 

    "We wanted to elevate this club and we are on the right track. The process of finding a new head coach is already underway and I will be looking for someone who is aligned with the philosophy we have implemented."

  • Marvel Muller back in Bayern training after COVID isolation Marvel Muller back in Bayern training after COVID isolation

    Thomas Muller returned to training at Bayern Munich on Thursday after the COVID-19 positive test that caused him to miss the Club World Cup final.

    The all-action attacking midfielder was dealt his coronavirus blow just hours before Bayern beat Tigres UANL 1-0 to be crowned club world champions in Qatar on February 11, forcing him to self-isolate.

    After two weeks away from the squad, and now clear of the virus, Muller was back at the club's training headquarters to be put through his paces.

    Bayern announced on their website: "Muller was able to train at Sabener Strasse again on Thursday for the first time after a period self-isolating at home due to testing positive for COVID-19.

    "Following final medical tests in the morning, the 31-year-old completed an individual session on the pitch alongside team training under the guidance of fitness boss Prof Dr Holger Broich."

    Muller is enjoying a stellar season and is one of just six players from Europe's 'top five' leagues to have reached double figures both in goals and assists across all competitions.

    He has 13 goals and 11 assists so far, and has created 81 chances in all.

    Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho is the only other player from the Bundesliga to achieve the double to date, after 10 goals and 12 assists.

    Lagging some way behind Muller in the Bayern ranks is Serge Gnabry, who has managed only six goals and two assists in 28 appearances, figures that are also significantly down on what team-mates Leroy Sane (G: 8, A: 8) and Kingsley Coman (G: 6, A: 11) have achieved.

    Gnabry has had more playing time than his attacking midfield colleagues Sane and Coman, and he began the campaign with a hat-trick against Schalke in Bayern's opener.

    The former Arsenal youngster was substituted off in the Club World Cup final because of a torn muscle in his left thigh.

    Bayern said on Thursday that Gnabry had undergone intensive rehabilitation in recent days and was able to resume training with Hansi Flick's squad.

    That may see him come into contention, perhaps along with Muller, for Saturday's Bundesliga home clash with Cologne.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.