Tuttosport tried suggesting that Gian Piero Gasperini picked up COVID-19 in Valencia on March 10 for a Champions League game.
He had never been screened for COVID-19 because he had no fever. But recent blood tests have shown that he has the antibodies that imply he had the virus.
When he revealed to the Gazzetta dello Sport that he felt unwell the day before the match, then worse that night and spent the next few days in bed in Bergamo, the tactician provoked huge controversy.
Valencia was furious, demanding an investigation by UEFA as to why Gasperini did not inform them that he had some symptoms of coronavirus when he entered the Mestalla.
Tuttosport now attempted to defend the coach of Atalanta against these accusations. They tried to prove that Gasperini may have picked up the virus while in Spain for the match on March 10 (which ended in 4-3).
The timeline for Tuttosport points to the fact that on March 16, 10 players and staff tested positively for COVID-19, while Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello tested only on March 24.
Because coronavirus usually takes 5-14 days to develop in the body, it is likely that coronavirus has already been present in Valencia and has not been transported by Atalanta.
Their investigation thus suggests that Valencia cannot be too upset, as there was a large public gathering in the city on March 8 for Women’s Day. Atalanta captain Papu Gomez irritably referred to reporters as ‘clowns’ when they tried to crowd around him at the airport on March 9, ignoring social distancing guidelines.
On 11 March, there were 1,146 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Valencia.