Serie A is one of the most competitive leagues in Europe and the world. The League boasts world-class teams and players including Juventus, the two heavyweights from Milan, Napoli and Rome. But it is a club based in Lombardy that is catching the attention of football pundits and fanatics alike.
Atalanta B.C. was established in 1907 and has oscillated between Serie A and Serie B having firmed up its position in Serie A during the last decade. The club is currently coached by Gian Piero Gasperini while they play at the Gewiss Stadium. Having won only one trophy in their history, Atalanta is now challenging the status quo with a scintillating football style.
Change in fortunes
The Club was promoted to Serie A in 2011-12, but in each season since then, they have been involved in a constant relegation fight. Atlanta B.C. however appointed Gian Piero Gasperini as the new coach in 2016/17. The results of the first few matches seemed to indicate that there were no changes in the Nerazzurri’s fortunes. However, form struck and they went on to transform into one of the most feared attacks in Serie A.
In 2016/17, Atalanta finished fourth in Serie A with 72 points and secured a place in the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League. This meant they were entering European competition after a long gap of 26 years. The conduit behind their change of form was the implementation of a unique tactic by their coach as well as his ability to get the most out of his players. Gasperini and Atalanta unleashed the 3-4-3 on Serie A. The tactic based on free-flowing football and interchangeability amongst the attacking three raised havoc against defenses and saw Atalanta scoring freely.
The European run seemed to have come in a little too early for them as the club finished in 7th position in Serie A in 2017/18. But they proved their naysayers wrong in the next season.
The club reinvigorated in 2018/19. They finished 3rd in Serie A, reached the final of Coppa Italia and secured a place in the Champions League for 2019/20. The club created history by qualifying for the knockout round of Champions League after losing their first 3 games. They currently lie 4th in the table having scored 70 goals so far in 25 games.
Behind the Change
Apart from tactics, players have played a huge part in their revival, especially club captain Papu Gomez and Slovakian Forward Ilicic. Both 32, the players have revived their own fortunes and that of the club through fearless and intelligent football. The Diminutive Gomez along with Ilicic and Zapata form one of the most potent trios in Europe today with each scoring and assisting others with help from the flying wingbacks. This along with the ability of their coach to trust his players and get the best out of them has created a team filled with experience, youthful zest and fervent desire to prove themselves at the very top. With an average of 2.8 Goals-per matches in the League and 2 Goals-per matches in Champions League, even the heavy hitters from the top European leagues would be scared of the team from Bergamo.