Atletico Madrid's women risk going into the latter stages of this season's suspended Champions League in August without a goalkeeper after their two main shot-stoppers departed the Spanish club.

Lola Gallardo and Dutch international Sari van Veenendaal were both out of contract at the end of June and have left to sign for Lyon and PSV Eindhoven respectively.

That presents a major problem for Atletico, whose season is not over because they are still involved in the Champions League, which will be completed in late August with a final eight straight knockout format.

They have signed French international Pauline Peyraud-Magnin from Arsenal but she is ineligible for the Champions League according to UEFA rules, which state that any new signings cannot play until next season.

As a result they have been left hoping that European football's governing body will grant an exemption to make an emergency signing to feature in the quarter-final against Barcelona in Bilbao on August 22.

"We are waiting for UEFA to confirm to us that we can register players given the exceptional situation," an Atletico spokesperson told AFP.

Atletico came second to Barcelona in the Spanish league, which was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic. They had been champions in each of the previous three campaigns.

If they beat Barcelona in their quarter-final, they will advance to a semi-final against Glasgow City or Wolfsburg. The final will be played in San Sebastian on August 30.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us