Zlatan Ibrahimovic Tests Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of Milan vs. Bodo/Glimt

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2020

AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic controls the ball during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Bologna at the San Siro stadium, in Milan, Italy, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

AC Milan announced striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of Thursday's UEFA Europa League third qualifying-round match against Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt.

"The Club has informed the relevant authorities and the player has been promptly placed in quarantine at home," Milan said in a statement. "All other team members and staff have tested negative."

The forward responded to the news on Twitter:

Rossoneri defender Leo Duarte also tested positive for the coronavirus Tuesday. Both players took part in Monday's Serie A season-opening 2-0 win against Bologna. Ibrahimovic scored both goals in the contest.

In March, the 38-year-old started a fundraiser with a $109,000 donation to help support hospitals in Italy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Italy has always given me so much and, in this dramatic moment, I want to give back even more to this country that I love," Ibrahimovic said at the time.

The Swede returned to Milan in December after finishing a two-year stint with MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy. He previously played for the Italian club from 2010 to 2012, scoring 56 goals in 86 appearances across all competitions.

He's one of the most decorated players of the generation, with numerous individual and club accolades during stays with clubs including Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

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Milan's positive tests come after Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora announced Friday the country would begin allowing up to 1,000 fans at sporting events as long as clubs and stadiums follow "rules laid down for spacing, masks [and] seat reservations."

Italy was one of the hardest-hit countries early in the pandemic, but it was able to flatten the curve and now ranks 20th with over 302,000 total confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

After Thursday's match against Bodo/Glimt, Milan are scheduled to continue the Serie A campaign Sunday when they visit Stadio Ezio Scida to take on Crotone.