In a shocking bit of news, Atlético Madrid announced teenage forward Christian Minchola’s death on Saturday. No cause was given.
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La familia rojiblanca está de luto por el fallecimiento de nuestro jugador infantil Christian Minchola. Nos unimos al dolor de sus familiares, compañeros y amigos. Descanse en paz. - Atlético de Madrid is mourning the passing of our U14 player Christian Minchola. We join in the grief of his family, teammates and friends. May he rest in peace. - La famille rojiblanca est en deuil. Christian Minchola, de notre équipe U14, nous a quittés. Toutes nos condoléances à sa famille, ses amis, ses coéquipiers. Repose en paix.
Minchola had turned 14 last month and joined Atlético’s academy as a seven-year-old in 2013. He played for Atlético’s Infantil C team — the under-14s — this year and scored over 50 goals as he moved up the youth ranks.
“We are shocked by the sad news of our player’s death, and we deeply mourn his loss,” club president Enrique Cerezo said in a club statement. “The entire Atlético family will be alongside Christian’s family and friends during this time of immense pain.”
“From today, our flag will fly at half-mast for Christian and for all the athletes who have died in recent weeks,” club CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín said. This seems to link Christian’s death to COVID-19, of which there are 54,000-plus active cases in Spain alone.
Diego Simeone and his players took to social media to express their surprise and sympathies.
De todo corazón envio mis condolencias a la familia y amigos de Christian. Descansa en paz. pic.twitter.com/VGi4ozzOpV— Diego Pablo Simeone (@Simeone) March 28, 2020
Rabia y dolor por tener que decir adiós a Christian Minchola. La vida es muy injusta. Orgulloso de que hayas vestido esta camiseta. Mucho ánimo a compañeros, familia y amigos. Descansa en paz. pic.twitter.com/yvvRuWG3bb— Koke Resurrección (@Koke6) March 28, 2020