Atalanta’s season is already their best one in the club’s history.
When we talk about the Serie A, normally, Juventus is the first name that comes to mind. The “bianconneri” are on the path of securing their 6th consecutive title. Other teams like Napoli, Roma, Milan and Inter also come to mind. Yet none could stop Juventus. But what about Atalanta?
Also known as “The Goddess” or “Orobici”, Atalanta’s only major trophy is a Coppa Italia won in 1963. 6 Serie B titles and one-third division title in 100 hundred years of history, without even coming close to a Serie A trophy.
The Orbici are currently in 6th place with 55 points a goal difference criteria away from Europa League. 55 points. Atalanta’s season is already their beast season in history. Their new single-season record. The 2011/2012 season held their beast record. The same season that linked Atalanta with the Calciopoli and the league took 6 points from them, yet secured their survival with 52 points.
Gian Piero Gasperini is Atalanta’s manager. Remember the name? His managerial history involves teams like Juventus, Inter, and Genoa. Gian Piero found success in Serie A with Genoa with names like Diego Milito, Sokratis, Domenico Criscito, Thiago Motta and a young Stephan El-Shaarawy.
The key to his success was the 3-4-3 formation and the previously mentioned names. José Mourinho was a big fan of Gasperini’s tactics and players. José later signed Milito and Thiago Motta in 2010 to later win “the treble” with Inter).
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Players like Alessio Tacchinardi, Ricardo Montolivo, Giampaolo Pazzini, Danielle Baselli, Davide Zappacosta, Manolo Gabbiadini and Giacomo Bonaventura, all come from Atalanta’s youth ranks. Youth and Gasperini are exactly why the 16/17 season is their greatest.
As a result of this two factors, Bergamo is a place no Serie A team like in their schedule. Due to the high-pressure style of play and fast paced counter attacks, Atalanta found the key to their record-breaking year. With Alejandro “Papu Gómez as the star, Ertit Berisha in goal; Zukanovic, Toloi and Kurtic as the few experienced players.
25,9 is the average age of the squad. In addition to the experience, the youth is especially relevant Gasperini’s style and the key of this team. The 23-year old center back Mattia Caldara, already signed by Juventus and playing on loan; the 20-year-old wall in midfield Franck Kessie, on the transfer targets of top teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool; Italy’s most recent national call-ups like Spinazzola and Petagna, just to mention some.
As a result of these factors, the rise fo the Goddess in the 2016/2017 season is possible. Maybe Atalanta won’t secure European spots next season but after the past years of suffering and struggling, the Orobici are now a team to follow. The top teams are doing so, keeping track of their players and you should be too. All of the mentioned above brings one thing to soccer fans: beautiful football.