One of Croatia’s top soccer stars, Ivan Perisic of Split, Croatia, has tested positive for coronavirus according to the Associated Press. As a result, Perisic will miss Croatia’s round of 16 knockout game versus Spain on Monday, the quarterfinal game on July 2, and the semifinal game on July 6, because he has to self-isolate.
Perisic tested positive at the Croatian men’s soccer training base site in Pula, Croatia. The team is scheduled to fly to Copenhagen, Denmark on Sunday for their Monday contest. The rest of the Croatian players have tested negative.
There have been 359,652 cases of coronavirus in Croatia and 8200 deaths. There are also 514 active cases of coronavirus in Croatia, while 350, 938 people have recovered. We do not know as of yet if Perisic was vaccinated.
In an interesting note, a day before Croatia’s 3-1 win over Scotland on June 22, Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour tested positive for coronavirus according to The Athletic. English players Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell were in close contact to Gilmour when England played Scotland, and had to miss England’s game against the Czech Republic. We have also seen a positive test for Joao Cancelo of Portugal during the tournament, while Spain’s Sergio Busquets and the Netherlands’ Jasper Cillessen tested positive for coronavirus before the tournament began.
There is no doubt that the loss of Perisic is significant. In three games during Euro 2020, the Inter Milan attacking midfielder had two goals in three games against the Czech Republic and Scotland. Perisic, who scored three goals in the 2018 World Cup where Croatia reached the final, now has 30 goals in 104 games internationally for Croatia.
Meanwhile, in Euro 2020 action on Saturday, Italy beat Austria 2-1 in extra time in London. All three goals were scored in extra time, and the Italian scorers were Federico Chiesa, and Matteo Pessina. Meanwhile, Denmark trounced Wales 4-0 in Amsterdam. Kasper Dolberg scored twice for the Danes, while Joakim Maehle and Martin Braithwaite each scored once.