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How Atalanta's feel-good Champions League story became a 'biological bomb' for coronavirus in Italy, Spain

At the end of their sensational and surreal Champions League elimination of Valencia in Spain on March 10, a 4-3 second-leg win (8-4 on aggregate) in an empty stadium Atalanta's players gathered in front of a TV camera, holding up a T-shirt with a dedication written across the chest. "Bergamo, this is for you," it read. "Móla mía."

Written in local dialect, that last phrase translates to "never give up". It could have been a fitting slogan for soccer's latest fairytale story. Atalanta,...

Sheffield United, RB Leipzig, Leicester, Atalanta: How the minnows manage to compete with soccer's elite

There are two primary truths in modern European soccer.

1. Possession is nine-tenths of the law. Of the 12 teams averaging at least two points per match in Europe's five biggest leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1) before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the coronavirus, eight were enjoying at least a 58% possession rate in league play, and one of the four that wasn't (Red Bull Leipzig) was at 59% in Champions League play, which shows they were capable of dominating...

Atalanta-Valencia Champions League clash accelerated coronavirus spread - chief doctor

An Italian doctor believes the Champions League match was a pivotal moment in the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
Lionel Messi, Carli Lloyd and more join in a message to the world to advise on Coronavirus and how best to beat it.
Jose Mourinho helps prepare packages of essential goods to deliver to the elderly of Enfield, England.

The director of the intensive care unit at Bergamo's Pope Giovanni Hospital XXIII has said Atalanta's Champions League clash with Valencia worked as an accelerator for the coronavirus that has devastated the region.

Coronavirus has been catastrophic in Italy, where 7,503 people -- the most of any country in the world -- have died after being infected as of Wednesday. The 3,434 deaths suffered in Spain is second only to Italy in terms of worldwide fatalities.

Sources: Barca players reject...

UEFA eye Champions League mini-tournament amid coronavirus shutdown - sources

Julien Laurens believes Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe will eventually duel for "best player in the world."
Shaka Hislop and Steve Nicol clash over Lionel Messi's standing after his UCL showing vs. Chelsea in 2018.
Check out how far mighty Liverpool have fallen in Shaka Hislop's eyes following their UCL defeat vs. Atletico.
The FC guys question Jurgen Klopp's comments criticising Diego Simeone after Liverpool exited Europe.

UEFA are considering staging the Champions League semifinals and final over two weekends in Istanbul in a bid to ensure that the 2019-20 competition reaches a conclusion amid the global coronavirus crisis, sources have told ESPN.

The fate of this season's Champions League and Europa League, as well as the staging of Euro 2020, will be discussed during a video conference of the 55 European football associations on Tuesday.

- Coronavirus cancellations and reactions in sports
- Karlsen: How coronavirus...

Atalanta's throwback attack has opponents befuddled and Bergamo buzzing

Ale Moreno questions if Atalanta can replicate the success they had over two legs against Valencia.

Atalanta aren't a black swan. Yes, their rise to the Champions League quarterfinals and another top-four finish in Serie A is an unforeseen event, but it's not clear at all that it will have a major effect on football.

Atalanta are one of those giant hornets with improbably cartoonish large bodies and small, flimsy wings. You'd think they'd be too big to fly, with those teeny wings, but they sure as heck do. And, yes, they also sting: early and often.

The team known prosaically as "La Dea"...