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Former Barcelona star Xavi tests positive for virus

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Former Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez has tested positive for the global virus, his Qatari club Al-Sadd said on Saturday, adding he would miss their league restart fixture against Al-Khor.

Xavi, 40, recently quashed rumours that he was preparing to move back to Barcelona and signed on for another season at the helm of the Qatari top-flight side.

"A few days ago, following the Qatar Stars League protocol, I tested positive in the last test," Xavi said in a post on Al-Sadd's Twitter account.

"Fortunately, I'm feeling okay, but I will be isolated until I am given the all-clear. When the health services allow it, I will be very eager to return to my daily routine and to work."

Almost four percent of Qatar's 2.75 million people have had the virus, with 108,638 cases reported since the start of the pandemic, giving the tiny Gulf state one of the highest per capita total infection rates.

However the gas-rich country has reported just 164 deaths, meaning it has one of the world's lowest virus death rates and 105,420 people have recovered, according to official statistics.

"Today, I won't be able to join my team on their comeback to the official competition," added Xavi, referring to Al-Sadd's clash against rivals Al-Khor due to get underway at 1600 GMT Saturday.

It is Al-Sadd's first outing since the Qatari league was suspended in March to stem the spread of the virus.

Al-Sadd reserves coach David Prats would deputise, he said.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Karim Jaafar

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