Croatia winger Ivan Perisic has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be forced to miss Monday’s Euro 2020 last-16 tie with Spain.
The Inter winger netted twice in the group stage, including in the 3-1 win over Scotland that sealed Croatia’s spot in the round of 16.
Unfortunately, it may be the last action he sees this summer as the Croatian Football Federation have confirmed that Perisic must now spend ten days in isolation after testing positive for the virus on Saturday.
All other members of the squad and staff have tested negative and will therefore travel to Copenhagen to take on Spain.
Not only will Perisic miss that game, but assuming Croatia advance, he would also be unavailable for the quarter-final on July 2 and the semi-final on July 6, which is the final day of his isolation period.
For Perisic to play again this summer, Croatia will have to go all the way to the final. No pressure.
The 32-year-old has been one of his side’s most important players so far this summer. He started all three games in the group stage and led by example, with two goals and an assist to fire Croatia through to the last 16.
Zlatko Dalic will now have to find a way to cope without the veteran winger. AC Milan’s Ante Rebic is a likely candidate to start, but Wolfsburg’s Josip Brekalo could also fill in on the left wing if needed.
Croatia actually beat Spain when these two sides last met in the Nations League in November 2018, with a late tap-in from Tin Jedvaj sealing a dramatic 3-2 victory.
That win came just two months after Spain battered Croatia to the tune of a 6-0 mauling, so it’s safe to say this one could go either way.
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