Atalanta at Champions League: The rise of ‘Goddess’ 

The famous passionate fans, smart contracts and young local talents … made Atalanta’s name from a team specializing in relegation in Serie A and narrowed financial potential. shocked in Italian football and the Champions League this season.

Atalanta is writing fairy tales in Italian and European football

The atmosphere of the Champions League has just returned to the San Siro this week. But the strange thing, both Inter Milan and AC Milan (the team that owns San Siro) did not start. Instead, the iconic Milan stadium is the host of the Atalanta Club’s 1/8 round to host Valencia. And they are preparing to write another miracle when “submerging” the representative of Spain with the score 4-1.

This is the first Champions League campaign of the Bergamo region club in their history. Competing for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals is the latest chapter in Atalanta’s strong and unexpected rise. It is a miracle because Atalanta is not a name and potential in football in the country of boots. Five years ago, Atalanta survived relegation from Serie A after finishing 17th in Italy’s top division.

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The passionate supporters are the “weapons” that bring strength to Atalanta’s rise. Photo: AFP

In recent years, they are regular members of the Italian representative on the European football stage. With the home field – Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia – failing to meet UEFA standards, Atalanta fans need to travel more than 50 km towards the San Siro for one of the biggest matches in the history of their beloved team. This is not a big problem for Atalanta fans who have been to San Siro for 3 matches in the group stage.

Milan is considered a second home for the team fans. In Italian culture, the people of Bergamo, the area with a club located in the province of Bologna, are called ‘i muratori’ (roughly translated as mason), due to the role of the Bergamo in the construction of many buildings. gorgeous in the city of Milan. It is also the pride that the Bergamo target their football team – Atalanta plays such a pivotal role in the daily life of ‘Bergamaschi’.

The importance of the football club to Bergamo is evident when every newborn child born in the area is given the team shirt at birth at the hospital, ensuring the local team has General support from all residents. This has created a huge community of passionate fans behind Atalanta.

With a few names, but Atalanta is the team with the “best fire” in Europe today. Photo: AFP

With constant singing and cheering in matches, weekly fireworks show and parades introducing new contracts on the street, Atalanta is known for its multi-team support methods from fans’ shape because they worked hard on the pitch. Their fans are thus extremely popular in Italy. That is the “weapon” that has made part of Atalanta’s success in the Champions League this season when the opponents seem overwhelmed in front of tens of thousands of people cheering with the love of burning football.

One of the avid fans was considered an “architect” for the rise of the “Goddess” (Atalanta’s nickname). It was technical director Jacani Sartori – a former professional player who played for AC Milan, Sampdoria and Chievo. He joined Atalanta’s board in 2014 and became part of the rise of the team.

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Sartori made a brave decision in 2016 to replace Eduardo Reja with current coach Gian Pero Gasperini, even though the club ended the 2015-2016 season in 13th place in Serie A. However, the contract of Gasperini – who is considered a coach in Italian football, has written historic milestones not only in Serie A but also in the European arena. The 62-year-old strategist led Atalanta to fourth place in Serie A and a place in the Europa League in the first season, then to No. 7 in the next season (2017 – 2018), before causing a shock. Last season’s Serie A was a third-place finish and won the Champions League ticket for the first time in team history.

Now Atalanta is writing a fairy tale in Europe’s top tier tournament with a very close place in the quarterfinals after a win over Valencia. Sartori’s role in this success far surpassed the appointment of Gasperini. The technical director has helped the club make smart deals to boost the Atalanta squad since 2017, with players attacking Josip Ilicic, Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel without spending a penny.

Along with captain Pau Gomez, all three factors are part of the strength of the best attack on the continent so far, in which Gasperini revolves around the “trio” for the two highest positions in the team 3- 4-1-2. Zapata – who is struggling with a knee injury this season, has shown his ability to score by scoring 23 goals in 37 Serie A appearances for Atalanta last season.

Meanwhile, Ilicic and Muriel possess the best performance in the percentage of goals scored in Europe this season when an average of one goal was made every 89 and 74 minutes. Chelsea loanee Mario Pasalic is also contributing to Atalanta’s latest 7 goals in all competitions. These are also the factors “engulfed” Valencia early that morning.

The expertise of the coach Gasperini has created the rise of Atalanta, which has limited financial potential

Atalanta has paid off for the clever additions, especially this season. The team with the same dark blue stripe shirt as Inter Milan is the highest-scoring club in Serie A this season with 63 goals in 24 matches, 17 more than defending champion Juventus and 8 goals compared to Lazio. Juventus and Lazio are currently leading the Serie A rankings after 24 rounds, while Atalanta is in fourth place.

More importantly, Atalanta is the team that continues to shock Serie A and Europe this season with destructive victories, in which 2 times scored 7 goals in 1 match (won 7-1 at home before Udinese and 7-0 at Torino). They also shocked by 2 wins and 5-0 against AC Milan and Udinese last winter by latest football news.

The 4-1 win over Valencia gave Atalanta other impressive numbers. However, they are in the 1/8 round this time not to make up the numbers in the Champions League this season, which is becoming a big challenge for the champions. The “Goddess” fairy tale will be written next if you take advantage of the score in the second leg of Valencia’s Mestalla on 11.3. Atalanta is a testament to the “clean” success in modern football that has been likened to “the game of billionaires”.