Matuidi, Zaccagni catch virus as Ibrahimovic launches fundraiser - GulfToday

Matuidi, Zaccagni catch virus as Ibrahimovic launches fundraiser


AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic has set up a fundraiser to help Italian hospitals in the centre of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. File / Agence France Presse

Juventus’s France World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi and Hellas Verona’s Mattia Zaccagni have both tested positive for coronavirus, their Serie A clubs confirmed on Tuesday.

“Matuidi has undergone medical tests that have revealed his positivity to the Coronavirus-COVID-19,” the Italian champions said in a statement.

Juve added 32-year-old Matuidi, who lifted the World Cup in 2018, is asymptomatic and currently “in voluntary home isolation”.

The midfielder’s club team-mate Daniele Rugani was the first top-flight footballer to be diagnosed with coronavirus last Wednesday, sending the entire team into quarantine.

In total 13 Serie A players have officially been diagnosed with the illness including seven from Sampdoria and three at Fiorentina.

Italian midfielder Zaccagni, 24, had already been in self-isolation as a precautionary measure after Verona played Sampdoria on March 8.

The virus has killed more than 2,500 people in Italy and infected over 31,000.

Meanwhile, AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up an online fundraiser on Wednesday to help hospitals at the center of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, with the target of raising 1 million euros ($1.09 million).

According to the website accepting donations, Ibrahimovic donated 100,000 euros ($109,000) to the fund. It quickly raised a further 15,700 euros ($17,100).

The 38-year-old Ibrahimovic rejoined Milan in January from the Los Angeles Galaxy. He also played for Italian clubs Inter Milan and Juventus.

“Italy has always given me so much and, in this dramatic moment, I want to give back even more to this country that I love,” Ibrahimovic said in a video message to launch the fundraiser.

The former Sweden international added that he was counting “on the generosity of my colleagues, of all professional athletes and of those who want to make a small or large donation according to their possibilities, to kick this virus away.”

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