The Rise of the Juggernaut In Bergamo Part One #792

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Atalanta slowly become one of the greatest football in stories in modern history. The team in Bergamo are in a place that no one expected them to be and a place they should have never gotten. Italian football is one of the best leagues in the world. Has maintained themselves as one of the most challenging and difficult leagues in World football. The Firepower that exists in Italian football is extraordinary. It’s very rare to see an uncommon team battle against the odds become a threat in a league that have been dominated by 6 clubs. The most dominant Club in the history of Italian football Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan that have both have significant successes in Europe. The teams in Rome Roma and Lazio even though they have not accumulated the amount of titles and trophies that Milan and Juventus have been able to collect they still are considered iconic clubs in the league. Even though they may not be winning on a consistent basis they are always fighting for Champions League football and are constantly in Europe. Then there’s Napoli a club that has a rich history in their own right and nearly have won a title in two of the last three seasons. Then you go beyond that and you look down the history of Italian football you see clubs like Genoa and Torino in the past picking up massive trophies. Typically the teams that have won titles in Italy have some sort of Rich history of success. Whether it’s the club itself the city they playing or something else. Every team that has has lifted the Scudetto has had somewhat of some history behind them. There’s a very precedent has made the story in Bergamo is more enticing then anything we’ve ever seen in Italian football. A team with no European history whatsoever finding their way into Europe separating the gap between themselves and there are other counterparts. Atalanta had spent 28 years in the second division of Italian football and never really propelled themselves as a continental power in Europe or domestically. The club had no history and still has a very small amount of it but they’re starting to build something that has the opportunity to Captivate Italy. How did this happen? What changes and adjustments have contributed to the unbelievable success there now having? There’s a lot of questions it’s really remarkable what they have done and achieved in a short amount of time. Atalanta has the potential to reach the very top of the world. Develop themselves to a continental power with limited budget and a large amount of turnover each season they continue to keep their head above water. it is unclear how they have done it but what is abundantly clear as this team isn’t going away. They will always find a way for rebound through any adversity that they may face head-on. Every season the bigger clouds are poaching their best players their journey is remarkable and it has only just begun. Historic Leaps and Bounds for a club with no history. They may not have history but they sure are creating some each season. This team in Bergamo will be a team to be reckoned with for the years to come. No matter what happens they are heading in the right direction. 50 years ago Atalanta had no relevance in the league whatsoever and even 20 years ago I’m pretty sure there are some people in Italian football that didn’t even know about their existence. The six clubs run the league at least it’s been that way since the Inception and origin of Serie A most clubs when they overachieve lose important parts and are never able to recover. Somehow someway Atalanta have managed to continue to improve and write more chapters in their history book. They have the potential to continue to build on what they have already started. The stability is in place to make this team iconic in Italian football you cannot write the story of Italian football without Atalanta. It would be an incomplete book they have only started ink  and will continue to touch the page this is something unprecedented in Italian football how does a team with nothing become a juggernaut in Italian football. the rise has only begun.

 

 

Lack of History: Life Before Gasperini 

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Atalanta have been for the majority of their time in Italian football and insignificant team that has bounced around between Serie A and Serie B. They have never really had the qualities or had the resources to build this team in Bergamo into a winner. None of this happened before the arrival of Gianpaolo Gasparini. Atalanta have spent 59 years in the top of Italian football. While that may seem like a long amount of time it’s been very inconsistent and many years they found difficulties maintaining their place in Italy’s top-flight. Atalanta has been relegated from the top of Italian football on 12 different occasions running across nine different decades. Of course there are many teams that perhaps have been relegated more frequently but for the majority of their Club history they have failed to make their mark. In addition to that they spent 28 seasons in Serie B even though they were able to secure 13 promotions which included winning the Serie B title on six different occasions. They we’re never really a threat and only have managed to put one that sing in their trophy case. A 1960 Coppa Italia triumph over to Torino. Outside of that they’ve done very little in history. Even during times where the club was in a situation in which they maintained some sort of stability in Serie A for much of their history they never really managed the consistency year in and year out to gather enough points to even think about European football.They spent a lot of time in Serie B and one season they fell down all the way to the third tier in Italian football. It was a club that had no reputation of accomplishing anything and didn’t really have a vision for the future. What they’ve gone on to accomplish never really has even looked like a remote possibility for a large portion of the club’s history. Even in the recent memory where they’ve been in the top of Italian football they have had a hard time staying there. They have been able to survive many seasons before their big break through but didn’t  appear to have the tools to even challenge the top half of the table. The expectations have completely changed since then but they were one of these teams that had expectations of staying in the league. Things are a lot different now but during those dark times staying in the league was a big of accomplishment. Over the years they started to build into something a little bit more dangerous than a years prior but never really looked like a team that was ever going to give anyone any problems. Despite their Coppa Italia victory in the 60s & picking up Coppa Italia runners-up medals on three different on three different occasions it was a team that that lacked direction no one would have believed that the same team would have one day play in the Champions League. Even before Gasparini came to Atalanta they struggled significantly even if they were able to maintain their place in the league. The team won promotion in 2010 as they won Serie B for the 6th time. Since that promotion they have not been back down to a place they spent such a long time. After dealing with three different managers during their promotion season they made a switch once again. They brought back Stefano Colantuono manager who had spent two years with the club a decade prior. He took care of the club to a certain respect and kept them in a respectable place in a five-year span. In the first season Atalanta finished 13th Place on 46th points in the 2011/2012 season this didn’t seem like a club that was going to push the top of the table but it was a very respectable place for a team that had just been promoted the year before. It was up and down for the most part. The following year in 2012/2013 the team took a step backwards finishing 15th with just 40 points enough to survive but not much more than that. In 2013/2014 Atalanta jumped all the way to 11th earning 50 points which was a 10-point improvement from the year before. At no point did it really seem like they will be fighting for relegation. They survived the season and finished near the top half of the table something that took a lot of people by surprise at the time even though it did not last very long. In the 2014-2015 season it was the worst season they have had since promotion. Despite that they brought in Papu Gomez from Ukraine the Argentine genius who one day became one of the most important players in club history. However the  team only earned 37 points and finished 17th in the league just a few points above the relegation zone. During Stefano Colantuono in his final season in charge in the 2015-2016 season Atalanta ended up finishing in 13th on 45 points. He held his manager position for several seasons kept them in Serie A the entire time even though there were scares throughout he did the job that was asked of him. However Atalanta wanted to go in an different directions as they made a change at manager that would change the complexion of the club’s history they went through a lot of low moments throughout but we’re starting to maintain their stability at the top the club didn’t have any history but by the next season a man named Giampaolo Gasparini would start writing some history in Bergamo.

 

 

 

The Man that Changed Everything: Gianpaolo Gasparini

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Everything changed for Atalanta when they turned to Gianpaolo Gasparini. The Italian manager was put in charge in the 2016-2017 season and simply put changed  life in Bergamo almost immediately. Gasparini managed a collection of teams most famously known for his two stints at Genoa. He took control of that club twice from 2006 to 2010 and 2013 to 2016. He overachieved in both stints in Genoa. He kept his team’s near the top half of the table. He showed qualities that convinced Atalanta to give him an opportunity to turn their fortunes around. Two of the seasons he spend in Genoa he managed to get them European football with a fifth -place finish and a sixth-place finish in seven total years of in charge. During his time in Genoa he only finished outside the top 10 a handful of times. Genoa unlike Atalanta what is a team with previous history of winning trophies in Italian football but based on what they had seen from him Gianpaolo Gasparini seemed to be the right man for the job. Even though his time at Inter Milan and Palermo wasn’t encouraging  he showed enough for Atalanta to enlist his belief in the team and what he could achieve in Bergamo. He truly became the man who changed everything without him this is impossible and this does not work. The the team may have had other contributing parts but Gianpaolo Gasparini has been the driving force behind their unlikely story. Gasparini drastically changed Atalanta from the very beginning. When he originally took the job the club had already have a star in Papu Gomez. Gianpaolo Gasparini was able to add talent and depth to a roster that previous managers had not gotten the best out of. Papu Gomez was the star but the team had recently signed Remo Freuler as Atalanta took him from the Swiss League. Gasparini on top of that was able to add someone who has become one of their most important players. Bringing in Hans Hateboer from the Netherlands. The improvement from the previous season was drastic. Against all the odds Gasparini took them to a fourth-place finish earning 72 points it was a 27-point increase from the previous season he got his team into the Europa League. For the first time in club history the club had never been in any European competition and in his first year he accomplished that. Unfortunately Italy had not got their fourth Champions League spot yet so despite finishing in their position the champions league would have to wait Papu Gomez led the way with 16 goals. The Following season Atalanta were unable to recreate what they had done in 2017. However in the 2017-2018 season they added a significant part of their core and still finished in a very respectable position. Gasparini signed Florentina Striker Josip Ilicic who scored 37 goals in Four Seasons at Florentina. Despite having a reputation of a lack of consistency on his day he was unbelievable. He signed robin Gosens,Timothy Castagne, Marten De Roon, Mario Pašalić & Golini. They were loading up with their signings That proved dividends as the season would progress. Meanwhile they sold Franck Kessie to AC Milan. They ended up finishing seventh but made the Coppa Italia semi-final making the round of 32 in the Europa League as they won their group but ended up losing to Dortmund in The Knockout stage. Josip Ilicic was the leading scorer with 16 goals despite falling down to 7th Gasparini had this team going in the right direction. The next summer Gasparini continue to improve the team as they were on their way to becoming an elite team in Italian football. From the point he took over Atalanta became a different animal. Last season in the 2018-2019 campaign they were in for something incredibly special as Gianpaolo Gasparini was the architect. Atalanta brought in Duvan Zapata on loan from Napoli who became one of the best players in the league. While Bryan Cristante one of the key components of their Midfield left for Roma. That did not stop the historical season that Atalanta had. Duvan Zapata led a formidable attack Atalanta was the highest scoring team in the league with 77 goals. While Duvan Zapata led the team with 28 as Gasperini truly got the best out of the Colombian as he was the best player in Italian football last season as he scored against every team in the top six. Remarkably Atalanta came together as a team and did the impossible Atalanta qualify for the champions league for the first time in history and in addition to that the club from Bergamo finished ahead of Inter Milan and AC Milan on their way to their greatest ever season. None of this would have been possible without the Brilliance of Gianpaolo Gasparini who ended up winning FIFA’s coach of the season. This season so far the team has not missed a step It is a team that everyone recognizes their qualities no one is sleeping on them anymore. After losing Bryan Cristante to Roma Gianluca Mancini would join him in the Italian Capital as the team lost one of their best players from the previous season. Atalanta has been able to cope with that though they brought in Luis Muriel to an already unbelievable attack also adding Malinowski as he joined from the Ukraine. this small team from Bergamo continues to be the most dangerous team in Italian football. Through 25 games they have scored 70 goals in the league including another 16 in the Champions League They’ve scored 86 goals this season it’s hard to say whether they will be allowed to finish the season but they were on Pace for one of the highest scoring teams in history. So far Atalanta find themselves in fourth place with a significant advantage against Roma it is highly likely they will return it to the Champions League next season. This year in the Champions League they really struggled but eventually found a way out of the group and in their first time trying found them a place in the Champions League quarter-finals. They smoked Valencia at home before battling them out at the estadio Mestalla a match in which Josip Ilicic scored four goals finding themselves a place in the quarter-finals a historical story. The Most Fascinating thing about this entire season has been this team has not been at full strength for much of the campaign. Duvan Zapata is the best player in the league despite having 12 goals in 19 games they have had to deal with picking up points without their best player. Every part of this team has chipped in this season. Josip Ilicic has done a great job picking up the slack with 21 goals this season his highest goal total of his career he’s been one of the best players in the entire league. On top of that Luis Muriel has added 14 goals on top of everything else. This team has gotten goals from all over the place this season When they are at their best they’re hard to stop. They score at such a high rate including three games in which they have scored at least seven goals. This team is building something extraordinary. Gianpaolo Gasparini has taken this team to levels that they weren’t even capable of. They’ve lost players every single season and he’s managed to figure it out as this continues to grow into a hugely important club in Italian football. Without Gianpaolo Gasparini this does not happen he is the best manager in the world Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are phenomenal but neither of them could have taken this team to where they are now.  The scary thing is they are just getting started their ceiling I don’t know if I have one the sky is the limit for Atalanta and what they have built and created in Bergamo. By the time he’s finished he will be immortalized by Italian football he’s done things with this team that no one else could have done this is a juggernaut now they went from irrelevant to a juggernaut Gianpaolo Gasparini made everything possible the sky’s the limit. Gianpaolo Gasparini has been the architect is Footballs greatest story

 

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