Paolo Dybala said he felt heavy and after five minutes of movement he had to stop because of lack of breath. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Juventus star Paulo Dybala revealed how he "struggled to breathe" after contracting coronavirus which has killed over 9,000 people in Italy. The Argentine international announced last Saturday he was one of three Juventus players to catch the virus along with Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi, who both had no symptoms. "I feel better now after some strong symptoms," the 26-year-old Dybala told JTV channel. "A couple of days ago I was not well, I felt heavy and after five minutes of movement I had to stop because I was struggling to breathe. Now I can move and walk to start trying to train, because when I tried in the past few days I started to shake too much. I gasped for air and as a result I couldn't do anything, after five minutes I was already very tired, I felt the body heavy and my muscles hurt. Now I'm fine. My fiancee Oriana (Sabatini) has also overcome the symptoms."
Dybala has scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, including in league leader's Juventus's last game against Inter Milan before Serie A and all sport in Italy was suspended. "The goal against Inter was the greatest emotion, (Aaron) Ramsey provided the perfect assist - it's a pity that there was no public," added Dybala.
The football match between Atalanta and Valencia, which local media have dubbed "Game Zero," was held two days before the first case of locally transmitted COVID-19 was confirmed in Italy. "We were mid-February so we didn't have the circumstances of what was happening," Bergamo Mayor Giorgio Gori said this week during a live Facebook chat with the Foreign Press Association in Rome.
"If it's true what they're saying that the virus was already circulating in Europe in January, then it's very probable that 40,000 Bergamaschi in the stands of San Siro, all together, exchanged the virus between them. As is possible that so many Bergamaschi that night got together in houses, bars to watch the match and did the same. Unfortunately, we couldn't have known. No one knew the virus was already here," the mayor added. It was inevitable."
Paolo Dybala has scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, including in league leader's Juventus's last game against Inter Milan. (Image credit: Getty Images)
Less than a week after the game, the first cases were reported in the province of Bergamo. At about the same time in Valencia, a journalist who traveled to the match became the second person infected in the region, and it didn't take long before people who were in contact with him also had the virus, as did Valencia fans who were at the game. While Atalanta announced its first positive case Tuesday for goalkeeper Marco Sportiello, Valencia said more than a third of its squad got infected, "despite the strict measures adopted by the club" after the match in Milan.
As of Tuesday, nearly 7,000 people in the province of Bergamo had tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 1,000 people had died from the virus making Bergamo the most deadly province in all of Italy for the pandemic.