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Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio, commonly referred to as Atalanta, is an Italian football club based in Bergamo, Lombardy. It currently plays in Serie A, having gained promotion from Serie B in 2010–11.

Atalanta
AtalantaBC.svg
Full nameAtalanta Bergamasca Calcio S.p.A.
Nickname(s)La Dea (The Goddess)
Gli Orobici
I Nerazzurri (The Black and Blues)
Founded17 October 1907; 111 years ago (1907-10-17)
GroundStadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia
Capacity21,300[1]
President[2]Antonio Percassi
Head coachGian Piero Gasperini
LeagueSerie A
2018–19Serie A, 3rd
WebsiteClub website
Current season

They are nicknamed the Nerazzurri and the Orobici. Founded in 1907 by some Swiss students in the gym of the liceo classico[3][4][5], Atalanta play in blue-and-black vertically striped shirts, black shorts and black socks. The club stadium is the 21,300 seat Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.

In Italy, Atalanta is sometimes called Regina delle provinciali (queen of the provincial clubs) to mark the fact that the club is by far the most consistent among Italian clubs not based in a regional capital, having played 58 times in Serie A, 28 times in Serie B and only once in Serie C.

The club won the Coppa Italia in 1963 and reached the Cup Winners' Cup semi-final in 1988, when it was still competing in Serie B. This is still the best ever performance by a non-first division club in a major UEFA competition (together with Cardiff City). Atalanta also participated in four seasons of the UEFA Europa League (previously known as UEFA Cup), reaching the quarter-finals in the 1990–91 season.

The club qualified for the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League, reaching the competition for the first time in their history, as they finished 3rd in the 2018–19 Serie A season. This represented the highest finish in the league in the club's history.[6]

Contents

HistoryEdit

The club was founded in 1907 by some Swiss students and their coach of PE in the gym of the Liceo Classico Paolo Sarpi, Bergamo.[5][4][3][7] A football club had existed in Bergamo since 1903. Founded by Swiss immigrants, it was known as Foot Ball Club Bergamo. The rival Atalanta club grew out of a division between different sporting societies in the town. The name is taken from the female athlete of Greek mythology. The FIGC was unimpressed with the new club and did not officially recognize them until 1914. The current club is the result of a merger between Atalanta and a third team called Bergamasca. The first, black and white coloured and the second wearing a blue and white shirt, merged in 1924 as Atalanta Bergamasca di Ginnastica e Scherma 1907. The team moved to the site of the current ground, on the Viale Giulio Cesare, in 1928.

Atalanta joined the Italian league in 1929. The club first reached Serie A in 1937, but was relegated immediately. The club returned in 1940 and remained in Serie A until 1959; after a single season in Serie B, the club was promoted and lasted a further decade in Serie A before relegation in 1973 led to an uncertain period of promotion and relegation between the two levels.

The club achieved its highest position at the time in 1948, finishing in fifth place, a feat only bettered in 2017. In 1981, the club fell into Serie C1, a blow which revitalised the club. The team returned to Serie B the next season and made it back to Serie A in 1984. The club's form in Serie A remained uncertain, as it was relegated in 1987, 1994, 1998, 2003, 2005 and 2010. After a change of ownership,[8] in 2011, Atalanta immediately came back to Serie A, where it has been ever since.

 
The 1962–63 Coppa Italia

In terms of titles the club has won little, their sole major silverware is the 1963 Coppa Italia. The club has had a few good runs in Europe, on several occasions being eliminated by the eventual winners.

Welsh club Merthyr Tydfil caused an upset in the 1987–88 European Cup Winners' Cup, beating Atalanta 2–1 in the first leg of their first round match at Penydarren Park. After winning the second leg 2–0 in Bergamo, Atalanta went on to reach the semi-finals, losing to eventual winners Mechelen of Belgium, but in the process becoming one of only two teams in the competition's history to reach the penultimate round while playing their football outside of the national top flight league. Oddly enough, the only other team to do so being Merthyr Tydfil's countrymen at Cardiff City.

Atalanta reached the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in the 1990–91 season, losing to local rivals Internazionale, who went on to beat another Italian side, Roma, in the final to win the tournament. The club never played European club competitions between 1991 and 2017, although turned down the opportunity to play in the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2001 after finishing in seventh place in Serie A, regional rivals of Brescia played the tournament instead, losing only in the final against French side Paris Saint-Germain.

In recent years, the club was relegated after the 2002–03, 2004–05 and 2009–10 seasons, but gained the promotion to Serie A after only one season every time.

In 2011–12, Atalanta was docked six points in the league table due to the outcome of an Italian football scandal. Nevertheless, the club managed to secure another year in Serie A by gaining 52 points in 38 games. The following year, for the same reasons, the club was docked two points in the league but avoided relegation reaching the 15th spot in the final table. In the 2013–14, Atalanta enjoyed another strong campaign, finishing in 11th place.

Atalanta struggled during the 2014–15 season despite some impressive results. At the beginning of the season, manager Stefano Colantuono committed his future to the club. On 4 March 2015, however, he was sacked after a poor run of form which left Atalanta only three points above the relegation zone. He was replaced by Edoardo Reja, who secured the club's status in Serie A for 2015–16, where Atalanta finished 13th.

In 2016–17, Atalanta stuttered at the beginning of the season and new coach Gian Piero Gasperini was on the verge of dismissal, but with an amazing run of positive results the team secured an impressive 4th-placed finish with 72 points, thus celebrating its return to Europe after 26 years, qualifying for the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League, in which they reached the round of 32, losing 3–4 on aggregate to Borussia Dortmund.

In 2017–18, Atalanta placed 7th in the league, earning them a berth for the chance to qualify for 2018–19 UEFA Europa League group stage. However, they were defeated by Danish side FC København in the final of qualification.

In 2018–19, Atalanta finished 3rd in the league, which qualifies them to participate in the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in their history.[9] Due to UEFA Champions League regulations and an impending renovation of their home venue, Atalanta will play their group stage home games at Stadio San Siro, Milan.[10]

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 17 July 2019[11]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2   DF Rafael Tolói
5   DF Andrea Masiello
6   DF José Luis Palomino
7   DF Arkadiusz Reca
8   DF Robin Gosens
9   FW Luis Muriel
10   FW Papu Gómez (captain)
11   MF Remo Freuler (vice-captain)
15   MF Marten de Roon
17   FW Roberto Piccoli
18   MF Ruslan Malinovskyi
19   DF Berat Djimsiti
No. Position Player
21   DF Timothy Castagne
22   MF Matteo Pessina
30   DF Marco Varnier
31   GK Francesco Rossi
33   DF Hans Hateboer
41   DF Roger Ibañez
44   MF Dejan Kulusevski
72   FW Josip Iličić
88   MF Mario Pašalić (on loan from Chelsea)
91   FW Duván Zapata (on loan from Sampdoria)
95   GK Pierluigi Gollini
99   FW Musa Barrow

Other players under contractEdit

As of 18 July 2019.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
  GK Sergey Piccirillo
  GK Alessandro Santopadre
  GK Marco Sportiello
  GK Alessandro Turrin
  GK Akililu Zambataro
  DF Alberto Alari
  DF Patrick Asmah
  DF Enrico Bulgarella
  DF Alberto Carminati
  DF Marco Cavagnis
  DF Roberto Corna
  DF Matteo Di Gianfelice
  DF Alberto Dossena
  DF Fabio Eguelfi
  DF Gabriele Fanti
  DF Riccardo Gatti
  DF Tommaso Ogliari
  DF Andrea Rizzo Pinna
  DF Mbaye Seck
No. Position Player
  DF Eyob Zambataro
  MF Federico Chiossi
  MF Nicolò Fazzi
  MF Gianmaria Guadagno
  MF Nicolas Haas
  MF Nicolas La Vigna
  MF Andrea Mallamo
  MF Filippo Melegoni
  MF Giorgio Pagliari
  MF Mario Pugliese
  MF Roberto Ranieri
  MF Luca Valzania
  FW Lorenzo Babbi
  FW Andreas Cornelius
  FW Gabriel Lunetta
  FW Giacomo Parigi
  FW Tiziano Tulissi
  FW Luca Vido

Out on loanEdit

As of 18 July 2019.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
  GK Lorenzo Avogadri (at Sampdoria until 30 June 2020)[12]
  GK Etrit Berisha (at SPAL until 30 June 2020)[13]
  GK Stefano Mazzini (at Pontedera until 30 June 2020)[14]
  GK Boris Radunović (at Hellas Verona until 30 June 2020)[15]
  GK Mikel Sangalli (at Borgosesia until 30 June 2020)[16]
  GK Roberto Taliento (at Sudtirol until 30 June 2020)[17]
  DF Davide Bettella (at Pescara until 30 June 2020)[18]
  DF Andrea Boffelli (at Pro Patria until 30 June 2020)[19]
  DF Alessandro Eleuteri (at Feralpisalò until 30 June 2020)[20]
  DF Anton Kresic (at Padova until 30 June 2020)[21]
  DF Gianluca Mancini (at Roma until 30 June 2020)[22]
  DF Stefano Marchetti (at Renate until 30 June 2020)[23]
  DF Federico Mattiello (at Cagliari until 30 June 2020)[24]
  DF Lorenzo Migliorelli (at Siena until 30 June 2020)[25]
  DF Matteo Salvi (at Pontedera until 30 June 2020)[26]
  DF Enrico Zanoni (at Gubbio until 30 June 2020)[27]
  MF Isnik Alimi (at Rimini until 30 June 2020)[28]
No. Position Player
  MF Thomas Bolis (at Piacenza until 30 June 2020)[29]
  MF Bryan Cabezas (at   Emelec until 30 June 2020)[30]
  MF Marco Carraro (at Perugia until 30 June 2020)[31]
  MF Marco D'Alessandro (at SPAL until 30 June 2020)[32]
  MF Enrico Del Prato (at Livorno until 30 June 2020)[33]
  MF Alessandro Mallamo (at Juve Stabia until 30 June 2020)[34]
  MF Christian Mora (at Cittadella until 30 June 2020)[35]
  MF Matteo Pedrini (at Giana Erminio until 30 June 2020)[36]
  MF João Schmidt (at   Nagoya Grampus until 31 January 2020)[37]
  MF Willy Braciano Ta Bi (at Pescara until 30 June 2020)[38]
  FW Aimone Calì (at Catanzaro until 30 June 2020)[39]
  FW Christian Capone (at Perugia until 30 June 2020)[40]
  FW Salvatore Elia (at Juve Stabia until 30 June 2020)[41]
  FW Emmanuel Latte Lath (at Imolese until 30 June 2020)[42]
  FW N’Da Steel Evariste Kichi (at Venezia until 30 June 2020)[43]
  FW Rilind Nivokazi (at Lecco until 30 June 2020)[44]
  FW Marco Tumminello (at Pescara until 30 June 2020)[45]

Youth teamEdit

Retired numbersEdit

12 – Dedication to fans, in particularly for Pisani Curve ones
14 –   Federico Pisani, Forward (1991–97) – posthumous honour.
80 – Elio Corbani, radio journalist.[46]

Noted playersEdit

Youth SystemEdit

 
A young Gaetano Scirea, one of the most famous footballers produced by the Atalanta youth system, during the 1972–73 season

The Atalanta youth system consists of four men's teams that participate in separate national leagues (Primavera, Allievi Nazionali A and B, and Giovanissimi Nazionali) and two that participate at a regional level (Giovanissimi Regionali A and B).[47]

The first person who was committed to set up the Atalanta youth teams was Giuseppe Ciatto. Every organisational aspect was dealt with and resolved by him, and he also took care to train the various teams. In 1949 Atalanta won the Campionato Ragazzi.

In the late 1950s former Atalanta player Luigi Tentorio (then Special Commissioner of the club) felt the need to start investing more systematically in youth: he decided to create a real youth sector, with its own independent structure from the first team. The youth sector was entrusted to Giuseppe Brolis, who created a partnership with various clubs in the Veneto and Friuli regions, building a network of scouts and young coaches.

A crucial step in the history of the Bergamo youth sector took place in the early 1990s when the president Antonio Percassi implemented a new investment policy, especially at the youth level. He managed to convince Fermo Favini to leave Como and entrusted him with the responsibility of the youth sector.

The Atalanta youth system not only continued to increase the production of players for the first team, but began to win several honours in the most important national leagues. From 1991 to 2014, the various youth teams have won 17 national titles.

Apart from successes at youth level, the Atalanta youth system is also one of the most highly regarded in Europe: according to a ranking by the study centre in Coverciano, Atalanta have the top youth system in Italy and the sixth in Europe, behind Real Madrid, Barcelona and three French teams. The parameters used were the amount of first division players produced by the club.[48] In the 2007–08 season, 22 players from Atalanta's youth played in Serie A, 32 in Serie B and 3 abroad.[48]

In 2014, a global study of the "CIES Football Observatory", placed the Atalanta youth system eighth place in the world, with 25 former youth players who play in the top 5 European leagues.[49]

Presidential historyEdit

Atalanta have had several presidents (chairmen) (Italian: presidenti, lit. 'presidents' or Italian: presidenti del consiglio di amministrazione, lit. 'chairmen of the board of directors') over the course of their history. Some of them have been the main shareholder of the club. The longest-serving chairman is Ivan Ruggeri, who was relieved of his duties after he suffered a stroke in January 2008, being replaced by his son Alessandro[50] who was named chairman of Atalanta in September 2008. Alessandro's father was unable to manage the team due to the consequences of the stroke.[51] In June 2010, after another relegation to Serie B, Alessandro Ruggeri sold his share of the club to Antonio Percassi, who became the new chairman of Atalanta.[8]

 
Name Years
Enrico Luchsinger 1920–1921
Antonio Gambirasi 1926–1928
Pietro Capoferri 1928–1930
Antonio Pesenti 1930–1932
Emilio Santi 1932–1935
Lamberto Sala 1935–1938
Nardo Bertoncini 1938–1944
Guerino Oprandi 1944–1945
Daniele Turani 1945–1964
Attilio Vicentini 1964–1969
 
Name Years
Giacomo "Mino" Baracchi 1969–1970
Achille Bortolotti 1970–1974
Enzo Sensi 1974–1975
Achille Bortolotti 1975–1980
Cesare Bortolotti 1980–1990
Achille Bortolotti 1990
Antonio Percassi 1990–1994
Ivan Ruggeri 1994–2008
Alessandro Ruggeri 2008–2010
Antonio Percassi 2010–

Managerial historyEdit

Atalanta have had many managers and head coaches throughout their history, below is a chronological list of them from when Serie A was changed into a league format, from 1929–30 onwards.

 
Name Nationality Years
Cesare Lovati   1923–27
Imre Payer   1927–29
Enrico Tirabassi   1928–29
Luigi Cevenini   1929–30
József Viola   1930–33
Imre Payer   1933
Angelo Mattea   1933–35
Imre Payer   1935–36
Ottavio Barbieri   1936–38
Géza Kertész   1938–39
Ivo Fiorentini   1939–41
János Nehadoma   1941–46
Giuseppe Meazza   1946
Luis Monti   1946
Ivo Fiorentini   1946–49
Alberto Citterio
Carlo Carcano
 
 
1949
Giovanni Varglien   1949–51
Denis Charles Neville[52]   1951–52
Carlo Ceresoli   1952
Luigi Ferrero   1952–54
Francesco Simonetti
Luigi Tentorio
 
 
1954
Luigi Bonizzoni   1954–57
 
Name Nationality Years
Carlo Rigotti   1957–58
Giuseppe Bonomi   1958
Karl Adamek   1958–59
Ferruccio Valcareggi   1959–62
Paolo Tabanelli   1962–63
Carlo Alberto Quario   1963–64
Carlo Ceresoli   1964
Héctor Puricelli   1965–66
Stefano Angeleri   1966–67
Paolo Tabanelli   1967–68
Stefano Angeleri   1968–69
Silvano Moro   1969
Carlo Ceresoli   1969
Corrado Viciani   1969–70
Renato Gei   1970
Giovan Battista Rota   1970
Giulio Corsini   1970–74
Heriberto Herrera Udrizar   1974–75
Angelo Piccioli   1975
Giancarlo Cadè   1975–76
Gianfranco Leoncini   1976
Giovan Battista Rota   1976–80
Bruno Bolchi   1980–81
Giulio Corsini   1981
 
Name Nationality Years
Ottavio Bianchi   1981 – 30 June 1983
Nedo Sonetti   1 July 1983 – 30 June 1987
Emiliano Mondonico   1 July 1987 – 30 June 1990
Pierluigi Frosio   1990–91
Bruno Giorgi   1991–92
Marcello Lippi   1 July 1992 – 30 June 1993
Francesco Guidolin   1 July 1993 – 30 September 1993
Andrea Valdinoci
Cesare Prandelli
 
 
1 November 1993 – 30 June 1994
Emiliano Mondonico   1 July 1994 – 30 June 1998
Bortolo Mutti   1 July 1998 – 30 June 1999
Giovanni Vavassori   1 July 1999 – 30 November 2002
Giancarlo Finardi   1 December 2002 – 30 June 2003
Andrea Mandorlini   1 July 2003–05
Delio Rossi   6 December 2004 – 30 June 2005
Stefano Colantuono   1 July 2005 – 30 June 2007
Luigi Delneri   1 July 2007 – 30 June 2009
Angelo Gregucci   1 July 2009 – 21 September 2009
Antonio Conte   21 September 2009 – 7 January 2010
Valter Bonacina (interim)   7 January 2010 – 10 January 2010
Bortolo Mutti   11 January 2010 – 10 June 2010
Stefano Colantuono   14 June 2010 – 4 March 2015
Edoardo Reja   4 March 2015 – 14 June 2016
Gian Piero Gasperini   14 June 2016 –

SupportersEdit

Atalanta's supporters are considered very loyal. When Atalanta plays at the Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, the supporters in the Curva Nord (North Curve) encourage the team with their chants during the entire match.

The biggest rivalry is with the neighbouring supporters of Brescia,[53] and there are strong rivalries also with supporters of Verona, Genoa, Fiorentina, Roma,[54] Lazio, Napoli, Milan, Internazionale, Torino; while there has been a long-standing friendship with Ternana, fans of the German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt and fans of the Austrian club Wacker Innsbruck.[55]

On special occasions, Atalanta supporters display a very large black and blue flag called Bandierù which covers the whole Curva Nord stand.

HonoursEdit

DomesticEdit

Winners (1): 1962–63
Runners-up (3): 1986–87, 1995–96, 2018–19
Winners (6):[56] 1927–28, 1939–40, 1958–59, 1983–84, 2005–06, 2010–11
Runners-up (4): 1936–37, 1970–71, 1976–77, 1999–2000
Winners (1): 1981–82
Winners (3): 1992–93, 1997–98, 2018-19
Runners-up (3): 2001–02, 2004–05, 2012–13
Winners (3): 1999–00, 2000–01, 2002–03
Winners (2): 1969, 1993
Winners (3): 2005–06, 2009–10, 2012–13

ReferencesEdit

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  49. ^ Redazione CalcioNews24 (20 June 2014). "Atalanta, fabbrica di talenti: è il miglior settore giovanile d'Italia". Calcio News 24. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  50. ^ News from Yahoo news[dead link]
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  52. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20111008215921/http://www.endtoendstuff.co.uk/main-book.php?element_id=1&chapter_id=130. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  53. ^ "Italy". footballderbies.com.
  54. ^ "Roma V Atalanta a bit of history". asroma.it.
  55. ^ Hall, Richard (7 January 2014). "Atalanta: Serie A alternative club guide". the Guardian.
  56. ^ (Italian record shared with Genoa C.F.C.)

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