1.03.2022Europa League

Coach key to success for last-16 opponents Atalanta

Last Friday’s UEFA Europa League draw paired Bayer 04 with a new opponent as the Werkself will face Atalanta for the first time competitively in the round of 16. Get to know the Italians a little better ahead of the two legs in our short profile.

“Atalanta are a team with a very modern approach to the game,” said head coach Gerardo Seoane after the draw at his press conference before the Bundesliga home game against Arminia Bielefeld on 26 February. “It’ll be an exciting and tough task against Atalanta.” The Italians’ performances from recent years confirms that expectation.

The club

Based in the city of Bergamo in the northern Lombardy region, Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio – as the club is now known – traces its roots back to 1907. It is named after the female athlete Atalanta of Greek mythology. They have spent over 60 seasons in Serie A but are yet to be champions of Italy. Nicknamed La Dea (The Goddess), their best finish was in 2018/19 when they came third. They went on to repeat that feat in the following two seasons. Atalanta have finished in the top half of the table in each of the last five years. And that positive development is inextricably linked with one man.


the coach

That is head coach Gian Piero Gasperini. The 64-year-old joined from Genoa for the 2016/17 season. The former midfielder (59 Serie A appearances) began his coaching career in the Juventus academy. His first senior position as head coach was at Crotone. He’s since had spells in charge of Genoa, Inter Milan, Palermo, Genoa again before coming to Atalanta. Gasperini was named Serie A Coach of the Year in 2019 and 2020.

The Team

The best-known name in the Atalanta team from a German perspective actually left the club in January, with Robin Gosens moving to Inter. But the squad remains full of real quality even without the left-back. Mario Pasalic, Marten de Roon and Remo Freuler are key in midfield. Top scorer is Colombian striker Duvan Zapata, but he’s been out with a muscle strain of late.

the stadium

Atalanta’s home ground is the Gewiss Stadium, known in European competition as the Stadio di Bergamo. Opened in 1928, the club acquired the stadium in 2017. It is located in the north of Bergamo and can currently hold just under 20,000 spectators due to construction work.

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