COVID-19 chaos will make Spain stronger, says returning Llorente
Madrid, June 12, 2021 (AFP) - Spanish defender Diego Llorente believes the team's Covid-19 chaos has pulled the players closer together ahead of their Euro 2020 opener against Sweden on Monday.
Llorente tested positive for the virus on Tuesday but has been allowed to rejoin the squad after giving a fourth consecutive negative test on Friday.
Sergio Busquets is still self-isolating at home after testing positive last weekend, which meant the team had to train individually this week and sit out a final warm-up game against Lithuania.
"All of us here see the glass half-full, not half-empty," said Llorente in a press conference on Saturday.
"All these things have made us stronger as a group. We see the light at the end of the tunnel now. Even on a mental level, this sort of thing can help you face these games and trust your team-mates.
"If we all row in the same direction, everything can go well and that is the message we believe in."
After a third consecutive day of no positive tests, Spain were allowed to train together as a group again on Saturday for the first time this week.
The players also showed their appreciation for the back-up training bubble of 17 players - formed in case anyone needed to be replaced - by applauding them off the pitch through a guard of honour.
"You have to take your hat off to them and thank everyone who came for their efforts," said Llorente.
The whole squad was vaccinated by the Spanish army on Friday.
Spain start on Monday against Sweden in Group E, which also includes Poland and Slovakia.