Portugal's Joao Cancelo out of Euro 2020 after positive Covid-19 test

Diogo Dalot has been called up as Cancelo's replacement ahead of the reigning champions' Group F opener against Hungary

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Portugal Training - Illovzky Rudolf Stadium, Budapest, Hungary - June 12, 2021 Portugal's Joao Cancelo during training REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
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Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo has withdrawn from Portugal's Euro 2020 squad after testing positive for Covid-19, the Portuguese football federation announced on Sunday.

Diogo Dalot, the Manchester United defender on loan at AC Milan, has been called up as Cancelo's replacement ahead of Portugal's opening Group F match against Hungary in Budapest on Tuesday.

Cancelo is now self-isolating after Saturday's test result, while the rest of the Portugal squad tested negative.

"According to the Covid-19 protocol established by Uefa before Euro 2020 matches every player in the squad underwent RT-PCR tests on Saturday. The results, with the exception of Joao Cancelo, were negative," the Portuguese federation announced.

The unavailability of Cancelo, who helped City clinch the Premier League title and League Cup this past season, just 48 hours before their first match is a blow to the defending European champions.

Portugal have been drawn in a tough group alongside Germany and World Cup holders France, so the absence of a senior player like Cancelo will hardly help their title defence.

While all 24 national teams have been training and living in bio-secure bubbles during Euro 2020, there have still been a handful of positive Covid-19 cases.

Spain captain Sergio Busquets tested positive last Sunday, followed days later by teammate Diego Llorente. The rest of the Spain squad entered isolation and the Under-21 teams stepped in to fulfil a friendly fixture against Lithuania.

Russia's build-up to the delayed European Championships was hit when winger Andrei Mostovoy tested positive and was ruled out on Friday, the day before their opening game against Belgium.

Sweden forward Dejan Kulusevski of Juventus and midfielder Mattias Svanberg also tested positive, with six reserve players called up on stand-by.

After beginning their campaign against Hungary on Tuesday, Portugal face Germany in Munich four days later with world champions France waiting for them back in Budapest on June 23.