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Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini admits he was sick with Covid-19 before the Valencia game


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Atalanta vs Valencia: the ‘biological bomb’

The second-leg of Atalanta’s last-16 tie against Valencia in Champions League was one of the final games to be played in the competition before it was suspended in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Atalanta beat Valencia 4-1 in Italy on February 19, before the Italians won 4-3 at the Mestalla, behind closed doors, on March 10.

However, as early as March 25, the first-leg in Bergamo was labelled a “biological bomb” by immunologist Francesco Le Foche. He added:

With hindsight, it was madness to play with a crowd present, but at the time things weren’t clear enough. It’d be unthinkable now.

 

Gian Piero Gasperini admits he was sick with Covid-19 before the Valencia game

On Sunday, Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini has spoken at length to Gazzetta dello Sport about his experiences with Covid-19.

Gasperini has admitted that he realised he had contracted the virus on the day of the second-leg at Valencia, on March 10.

I felt ill the day before the Valencia game, then on the afternoon of the match I felt even worse.

If you look at the pictures, I did not look good on the bench. That was March 10. The two nights afterwards, I did not sleep well. I didn’t have a fever, but I felt like I did.

Every two minutes, an ambulance would go past, as there’s a hospital near the training ground. It sounded like a warzone. At night I would think, what will happen to me if I go into that hospital? I can’t go now, I have so much still to do…

As I never had a fever, I didn’t do the swab test, but 10 days ago the blood tests confirmed I had COVID-19.

I have the antibodies, but that does not mean I am now immune.

Backlash against Gasperini

Gasperini’s admission that he knew he was ill on the day of the Valencia game has created an uneasy situation.

If the Atalanta boss knew he was sick during the Covid-19 pandemic, should he really have travelled to Spain and attended the game?

Spanish reporter Hector Gomez has hit back at Gasperini’s comments, saying:

(After the first leg in Milan), Atalanta claimed that none of their squad were infected, so they travelled to Valencia three weeks later to play the second leg of the tie.

However, today (Gasperini) has dismantled the theory and confirmed that they did not tell the truth.

 

Also see: 2020-21 Premier League provisional start date may mean Man United, Man City & Chelsea only have 2 weeks off.

UEFA consider ‘final four’ format to close Champions League & Europa League which may impact Man City, Man United & Wolves.


This article was edited by Ben Green.



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