How coronavirus forces the next German soccer star to wait for his chance | Sports | German football and major international sports news | DW | Instant News

He has been waiting for that call. The season that stood out for the Serie A club Atalanta finally attracted the interest of German coach Joachim Low, who has traveled to Northern Italy more than once to assess whether Robin Gosens might be the answer to the problems of the German left side.

A powerful left back and robber who can also play further ahead, Gosens has been a key figure in the rise of Atalanta to become famous and status as top scorer in Italy’s top flight with 70 outstanding goals in 25 domestic matches. A strong defender with a tendency to progress, Gosens has scored eight goals and five assists this season, making himself one of the first names on the team sheet.

Gosens is widely expected to be called up for his first German match in the March friendly in Madrid against Spain, and against Italy in Nuremberg. Then coronavirus attacks.

From fairy tales to the epicenter

Atalanta, which surprised many people, has enjoyed several beautiful seasons. The Italian side qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history, and then advanced through their group in front of Shakhtar Donetsk despite losing their first three matches. A convincing 8-4 aggregate win over Valencia then made an unprecedented Champions League quarter-final. Atalanta has just destroyed eight final European elite club competitions, becoming the story of European football this year.

Atalanta were also able to handle the double demands of their first foray into the Champions League with the weekly rigidity of Serie A. Gosens and his team were fourth, above the likes of Roma and AC Milan, when football stopped.

Atalanta celebrated their big 4-1 win over Valencia, but the match has since been described as a ‘biological bomb’

Then it became clear that the spread of coronavirus in Spain and northern Italy was accelerated by the Atalanta match against Valencia on February 19, a match played at the San Siro at a higher capacity in Milan, than at the small stadium of Atalanta in Spain. Bergamo, also in the hardest-hit region of Lombardy.

The game, a big moment in club history, was later dubbed “Game Zero” by the Italian press.

The days after the match saw the number of cases of the corona-sky-rocket virus, and the decision to play the game, at the stadium, when the virus spread, began to be questioned.

The second leg takes place March 10 without fans in Valencia. Soon after, a third of Valencia players and staff tested positive and Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello.

While some restrictions are slowly being relaxed in Italy, the prospect of a return to domestic football in Serie A – even behind closed doors – remains a long way off.

The rise in Gosens is postponed

From a football perspective, this is a series of unfavorable events for Gosens, who have just begun to gain recognition in Germany and are reportedly attracting interest from other big European clubs.

The rise in Gosens to become a football figure is being held. Instead of the soccer team being a celebration story for Atalanta, the city of 1.1 million residents of Bergamo struggles to overcome the corona virus.

The 25-year-old, born on the border with Holland from a Dutch father and a German mother, is a product of the Vitesse Arnhem academy and remains a relatively unknown number in his native land, having never played any level of football in Germany. While it will remain in effect for a longer time, it seems only a matter of time before it becomes a household name in Germany as well.


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