Argentina striker Paulo Dybala has expressed his joy and relief after a double test on his return to club side Juventus confirmed that he was definitely free of Covid-19 for the first time since his initial positive test in March.
The 26-year-old forward returned to the Serie A leaders this week but was not listed as having recovered among the three Juve players who have tested positive for the deadly virus.
Teammates Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi, who faced their own struggles with the disease, were confirmed by club medics to have tested negative during initial tests, stoking rumors that Dybala had returned another positive result after reportedly doing so at least four times since his original diagnosis on March 21.
Now Dybala has reacted with relief to finally being confirmed as free of the virus, posing in a garden with his arms outstretched to tell his Instagram following of more than 38 million: “My face says it all – I’m finally cured from Covid-19.
Update on @PauDybala_JR.
“Many people talked in the past weeks but I can finally confirm that I am healed. Thank you once again for your support and my thoughts are with all who are still suffering from it. Take care.”
Announcing the news in a statement, Juventus said: “[He] performed, as per protocol, a double check with diagnostic tests (swabs) for Coronavirus-Covid 19, which came back with negative results.
“The player has, therefore, recovered and will no longer be subjected to the home isolation regime.”
Many people talked in the past weeks … but I can finally confirm that I am healed. Thank you once again for your support and my thoughts on all who are still suffering from it. Take care! ♥️
Dybala would have been sent home to recover for two weeks had he failed to record a negative result, ruling him out of the club’s plans to return to training along with other top-level sides in Italy on May 18.
His girlfriend, Oriana Sabatini, was also found to have the disease in March, staying in quarantine with him while he struggled to breathe before the pair originally thought they had recovered from the illness.
The singer is yet to confirm whether she has tested negative for Covid-19, posting a clip of herself sunbathing as Dybala revealed his good news.
Fans reacted with joy to the news, telling Dybala to sign a new contract at Juve and sending him memes of strike partner Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating.
“Covid is not greater than all of us,” said one. “Get back to the game that we love.”
There have been almost 30,000 deaths as a result of the outbreak in Italy, where authorities are yet to agree on a provisional date for the return of professional football.