Spanish soccer coach for Atletico Portada Alta dies from coronavirus at age 21

A 21-year-old youth soccer coach in Spain died Sunday from coronavirus while also battling leukemia.

Francisco Garcia was coach of the junior team for Atletico Portada Alta in Malaga. Garcia's leukemia was discovered after going to the hospital with symptos of COVID-19, the Independent reported. Garcia was advised to seek medical attention after struggling to breathe, the Spanish newspaper Malaga Hoy reported.

"From Atletico Portada Alta we want to express our most profound condolences to the family and friends of our coach Francisco Garcia who has unfortunately left us today," Atletico Portada Alta said in a statement translated from Spanish to English. "What will we do without you now, Francis? You were always there with us at Portada or wherever we needed you, helping. How are we going to continue to conquer kilometres in the league? We don't know how but for sure, we will do so for you. We will never forget you."

LaLiga 2 team Malaga CF posted a tribute to Garcia on Twitter, which translated from Spanish to English said: "From the club we want to transmit to @AtlPortadaAlta our deepest condolences for the loss of one of its coaches, Francisco García, as well as sending a warm hug to his family and friends. Together we must stop #COVID-19."

Desde el Club queremos trasladar al @AtlPortadaAlta nuestro más sentido pésame por la pérdida de uno de sus técnicos, Francisco García, así como mandar un cálido abrazo a sus familiares y amigos.

Entre todos debemos frenar al #COVIDー19.


Spain declared a state of emergency on Saturday. On Thursday, the same day Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball and the NHL announced the postponements of their respective seasons, Spain's La Liga — the top flight of Spanish soccer — also postponed its season. 

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