Edinson Cavani Admits He Nearly Retired When He & Girlfriend Caught Coronavirus

Jamie Spencer
Edinson Cavani was considered retiring before joining Man Utd
Edinson Cavani was considered retiring before joining Man Utd / Jörg Schüler/Getty Images

New Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has admitted that he considered retiring from football last month when he and girlfriend Jocelyn Burgardt tested positive for coronavirus.

Having left Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expired at the end of June, therefore playing no part in the Champions League mini-tournament, Cavani spent part of the summer away from the spotlight back home in rural Uruguay.

But he later reunited with a number of his former teammates, including Neymar and Angel Di Maria, for a short holiday in Ibiza at the end of August. That trip resulted in Neymar, Di Maria, Leandro Paredes, Mauro Icardi, Keylor Navas and Marquinhos all testing positive for coronavirus.

It was not known until now, but Cavani and Burgardt also caught it and quickly went into isolation. It was at that point that the player considered hanging up his boots altogether and retreating back to the countryside where he had spent the first part of the summer.

“It was something we kept to ourselves and I was going to say it at some point. There was nothing to be gained by saying it at the time if you were complying with the protocol that had to be followed,” Cavani explained to Uruguayan outlet 2 de Punta, via AS.

“We spent many days in quarantine, even longer than necessary. There was no need to tell anyone. It was after we arrived in Paris from Spain. At first we were negative, but when my girlfriend started to get symptoms we took the test again and we were positive.

Cavani & partner Jocelyn Burgadt both tested positive for coronavirus
Cavani & partner Jocelyn Burgadt both tested positive for coronavirus / Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

“My family's health comes first. Of course, I thought about quitting football. It is true I considered that option and the possibility of stopping playing and dedicating myself to life in the countryside.”

Cavani added that it was the ‘fear’ that made the situation particularly bad.

But his decision to keep playing was ultimately Manchester United’s gain, with the Old Trafford club turning to the prolific 33-year-old in the final days of the transfer window.

Cavani is the second Uruguayan forward to join United, nearly 20 years after ex-international teammate Diego Forlan, who remains a popular cult figure among fans in Manchester. What’s more, Cavani revealed United actually turned to Forlan, who duly obliged with a glowing review.

“Diego, when he had to give references about me, he did it, he said very good things,” the player said of the situation, via Sport Witness.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!