Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello tests positive for coronavirus

Tanya Simon
March 26, 2020

'Many watched the game in groups and there were lots of contact [between fans] that night.

With the Champions League suspended because of the pandemic, Atalanta has no idea when it might play in the quarterfinals - which again would be the club's biggest game in its history. "No one knew the virus was already here", the mayor added.

Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello has tested positive for coronavirus, taking the number of confirmed cases among players in Italy's top soccer league Serie A to 15 on Tuesday. "The virus was transmitted from one to the other", said the mayor. Little did we know what was going on, because the first has infected with coronavirus found in Italy only on 23 February.

Italy remained the European nation with probably the most circumstances, nearly 70,000, and with virtually 7,000 deaths - probably the most worldwide and greater than twice as many as China.

'What they hadn't realised was that many of them were infected, because at that point [February 19] there had not been one death in Italy.

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Bergamo has been termed as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. On the other hand, there are over 2,600 infected people in Valencia.

One of the great stories of the European season now on hold was the success of tiny Italian club Atalanta. "To provide you an concept, my spouse took three hours to get to Milan, when that journey usually takes 40 minutes".

"The match was the biological bomb".

Footage circulated last week of the Italian government sending in military vehicles to collect the coffins of victims in Bergamo as there was nowhere to host them due to the backlog in the crematorium. In addition to that, Valencia FC confirmed that 35 percent of their entire staff (including players Eliaquim Mangala and Ezequiel Garay) tested positive for COVID-19. Read here to find out what precautions you should take.

Gori believes Atalanta's 4-1 win over Valencia in Milan, which had more than 44,000 supporters watching, started the spread of the deadly disease in Europe. In the meantime, both the Bergamo team and Valencia are left wondering about the unforeseen effects of their match in February.

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