Rodri insists Spain squad are free of vaccine side-effects ahead of Sweden clash

Spain star Rodri Hernandez insists the Spain squad are not feeling any problematic side-effects from their coronavirus vaccine.

The Spanish government made the decision to vaccinate the national team players towards the end of last week after two positive tests in the camp, one for each of Sergi Busquets and Diego Llorente.

The positive tests have forced the rest of the squad to train individually in the lead up to their Euro 2020 opener with Sweden tonight, though Llorente’s test proved to be a false positive, and there is fresh hope after the Janssen one-dose vaccine was administered late last week.

And amid concerns that the Spain players could be impacted by possible side-effects heading into their opener with Sweden tonight in Seville, Manchester City and La Roja star Rodri has eased concerns.

“They vaccinated us an hour ago and I’m fine. I hadn’t had a jab before, so it’s the [Janssen vaccine],” he told the Guardian over the weekend. “And personally, I’m good. No symptoms or side-effects. It’s good news that they’ve given us all the vaccine at last and we can get that bit of tranquillity; we can all be calmer now.”

Speaking about the situation in the Spain camp, he added: “For the last few days, every morning when the PCRs are done, there’s been this idea going round your head: ‘Please, please don’t let there be a positive’. It would be very cruel.

“There’s a fear, not so much for our health, as we’re young and it seems unlikely that anything serious could happen to us, but that you could miss the Euros.

“Busi caught it, he doesn’t feel anything [symptoms] at all but you know that could mean missing out.

“It happened to Diego, although fortunately it was a false positive and he can come back but that idea leaves you with a really bad feeling, a sadness.

“The situation is what it is, though; we know it’s the age we’re living in. And luckily it now seems like we’re moving forward.”

Rodri also spoke about the challenge of having to train individually in the crucial days before the tournament and how he and his teammates have been impacted by the late alterations to preparations.

“These last few days we haven’t been able to work the way that we would like,” he admitted.

“We’ve been doing individual training, more physical. That’s useful in terms of fitness, but we haven’t had the collective preparation you need: sessions where there’s ball work, passes, possession, mini-games, combinations. We haven’t done much with the ball, which is what really makes things function.

“In the residency, the common spaces have been closed. We got rid of any type of contact.

“Meals have been organised so that everything is done separately, the tables are apart, we eat in shifts.

“It’s all done individually, everything we do. Everyone’s in their own rooms.”

Despite the changes, however, Rodri is keen to do what he did with Manchester City this season in winning a title in the face of adversity and during these strange times where it feels like nothing has gone quite as it should have.

“With City, we had to adapt things,” added the midfielder. “It’s been a very, very demanding year in terms of games, the volume of matches, the physical needs.

“Whoever adapts the best will have the best chance at the Euros too.

“I think there will be different results, unusual ones. That would make sense, given everything: the preparation hasn’t been what it would usually be, the context isn’t the same, the stadiums aren’t full. I think we’ll see a very close competition.”

Tags Diego Llorente Luis Enrique Rodri Hernandez Sergio Busquets