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Barcelona, Madrid hit by FIFA virus as stars get injured on international duty | Football News


The latest international break has been costly for several European clubs, including Spanish powerhouses Barcelona and Real Madrid. Both teams will be depleted due to the injury absence of key players affected by the “FIFA virus” while on duty with their national teams.

Real Madrid’s Rodrygo celebrates scoring his fourth goal (REUTERS)

Shortly after Madrid confirmed injuries to Brazilian forward Vinícius Júnior and French midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, Barcelona midfielder Gavi from his time with Spain in the European Championship qualified on the sticks due to a serious injury. he will likely miss the rest of the season.

Gavi, who was in tears when he left the field in the 26th minute of Spain’s 3-1 win over Georgia on Sunday, will need surgery in the coming days to repair a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee .

Premier League champions Manchester City appear to have avoided panic – Erling Haaland’s ankle injury sustained in Thursday’s friendly between Norway and the Faroe Islands does not appear to be too serious.

Paris Saint-Germain were unlucky and Warren Zaïre-Emery, a 17-year-old midfielder who injured his right ankle when he became France’s youngest goalscorer on his international debut in a peak 14- 0 Gibraltar peak in the European qualifier on. Saturday.

Manchester United may also be in trouble after goalkeeper André Onana was unable to finish off Cameroon’s World Cup qualifier on Friday, while Inter Milan saw defender Alessandro Bastoni injured on Italy duty.

The media in Spain and other countries refer to injuries sustained on international duty as the “FIFA virus”. And the injury to Gavi is another example.

“A very high price,” read a front-page headline from Marca sports daily on Monday, alongside a photo of Spain forward Ferran Torres holding a Gavi jersey after scoring one of the team’s second-half goals.

Spain’s coach, Luis de la Fuente, was quickly blamed in the Spanish media for not removing Gavi from the game moments earlier when he got a knock on the same knee. This match meant little to Spain as they had already secured their spot at Euro 2024. Local reports said Barcelona were considering making a formal complaint to the Spanish Football Federation.

De la Fuente said Gavi’s injury was one of the “toughest” moments of his coaching career but noted that it had nothing to do with the knock he received earlier.

“This can happen at any time. It was an accident,” said De la Fuente. “It’s a very difficult moment. It is difficult for him, his club, his teammates, me and the federation. We are devastated.”

De la Fuente rested some of the other regular starters who played in the team’s 3-1 win over Cyprus on Thursday, but 19-year-old Gavi started again after playing the entire game on last week.

Clubs receive financial compensation when their national team players are injured and miss more than 28 days, but Barcelona will be without Gavi as he was one of the key players in coach Xavi Hernandez’s squad which has this season able to play there. the winning rounds of the Champions League after two consecutive eliminations in the group stage.

Madrid, who are already in the next round of the Champions League and are fighting for the top of the Spanish league, will be without Vinícius for around two months due to a muscle tear sustained in Brazil’s 2-1 loss in Colombia in World Cup Friday. Vinícius, 23, has scored six goals for Madrid this season, including three in the team’s last two games.

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will also be without Camavinga for a while. The 21-year-old midfielder tore a ligament in his right knee while training with the French national team. Camavinga has started four of Madrid’s Champions League games and has appeared in all 13 league games in Spain this season.

Another Spanish club affected was Real Sociedad, where midfielder Mikel Oyarzabal – one of the key players for the sixth-placed club in the Spanish league – left Spain’s game against Cyprus with a muscle injury.

In Italy, striker Victor Osimhen has not played for Napoli since the last international break after being injured with Nigeria, and this was not the first time he has missed time with his club due to problems with the national team. .

A recent study by insurance group Howden showed that the length of absence due to injuries for players was longer after last year’s World Cup in Qatar, the first to be played in the European winter and mid-season.

FIFA approved its insurance program for clubs after Bayern Munich official Karl-Heinz Rummenigge complained after Arjen Robben was injured with the Netherlands at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

FIFA has allocated $150 million for the 2023-26 men’s World Cup period to its Club Protection Program, and can pay a maximum of 7.5 million euros ($8.2 million) for one player’s injury at a daily rate of 20,548 euros ($22,450) “payable for a maximum of 365 days.”

The current international break, the last of the year, concludes with matches around the world on Monday and Tuesday.

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