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Nuno Espirito Santo hoping Wolves players avoided Portuguese outbreak

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is hoping his Portuguese players have returned from international duty free of coronavirus.

Goalkeeper Rui Patricio, full-back Nelson Semedo, midfielders Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho and forward Daniel Podence have all been away with Portugal, for whom Cristiano Ronaldo this week tested positive for Covid-19.

The Portuguese Football Federation said in a statement on Tuesday that Ronaldo was “doing well, without symptoms, and in isolation” and added that no further positive tests had been reported in the squad.

Wolves resume their Premier League campaign against Leeds at Elland Road on Monday night and, while the well-being of all players is his primary concern, Nuno explained how any positive tests could ruin a club’s preparations for the upcoming matches.

“We’ve been tested. We have a new system of testing now that allows us not to make any mistakes when coming back from international games. Let’s wait to find out the results, but for now everybody is healthy,” said Nuno.

“It will probably be Sunday morning that we have the final results, so you can see how it affects the decisions and how you prepare for a game. You prepare and put things in place and work on things but if a (positive) result comes back then you have to take the player out.

“Other teams have had players away on international duty too. We are fortunate in that we have more time because we play on Monday but others have to do testing and play on Sunday or even Saturday.

“We worry about everybody involved in international teams because everybody is in a changed environment, and sometimes when we are out of our natural environments we make mistakes. It is about not getting players infected.

“There was a case with Portugal, but it could be any team. It is worrying for everyone. I am confident the national team of Portugal have taken all the necessary procedures to ensure that nobody has contracted it, but with infection rates all over the world this type of thing will happen over and over again.”

Earlier on Friday, Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder expressed his opinion that international football should be curtailed amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Nuno echoed the sentiments of his Premier League counterpart, saying: “If you ask me what we should do in the middle of a global pandemic, my answer would be for sure to stop. I don’t think the schedule for international teams was well prepared.”