How Germany did it: Completing the soccer season in Europe

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The top German soccer league's virus testing and medical protocols formed a blueprint for other leagues and sports around the world.

Mainz's goalkeeper Florian Mueller receives the opening goal by Leverkusen's Kevin Volland during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FSV Mainz 05 in Leverkusen, Germany, Saturday, June 27, 2020. DUSSELDORF, GERMANY -- There was a trophy, there were medals and there were commemorative T-shirts. Only the fans were missing as Bayern Munich celebrated its title Saturday and the Bundesliga breathed a sigh of relief. The restart plan worked.

The results were much like any other recent season. Bayern recovered from early-season troubles to win its eighth straight title with two games to spare, then held a muted party in private without players' families and the usual beer-throwing antics. Dortmund fought hard with an exciting young team, but fell short.

It helped that Germany was a world leader in ramping up its coronavirus testing. That meant that the league could use as many as 25,000 coronavirus tests to finish the season without putting a serious dent in the country's testing capability. The only confirmed case of a player missing a Bundesliga game because of coronavirus was when veteran Werder Bremen striker Claudio Pizarro was quarantined following a positive test for his daughter, as he later told the local Weser Kurier newspaper. He was not found to have the virus.The restart was accompanied by a rash of minor injuries, mostly strains of players' soft tissue.

 

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Once they realized nobody was watching anyway they just removed the ball from the game so no transfer would be likely.

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