Atalanta Bergamo: This is how Bayer Leverkusen’s final opponent ticks

Atalanta Bergamo: This is how Bayer Leverkusen’s final opponent ticks

Bayer Leverkusen’s final opponent Atalanta Bergamo has developed into a top Italian club in recent years. Coach Gasperini and club president Percassi are responsible for this – they consistently pursue a business model.

The great Pep Guardiola has already made the acquaintance of Atalanta Bergamo. A game against the Italian club is like a visit to the dentist, moaned the Manchester City coaching guru. The bon mot may be a few years old now, but the comparison is still as valid today. When Liverpool FC and Jürgen Klopp were defeated by Atalanta Bergamo in the Europa League quarter-finals a few weeks ago, Guardiola commented: “They can beat anyone.”

Bayer Leverkusen should be warned when they face Bergamasken under coach Gian Piero Gasperini in the Europa League final in Dublin on Wednesday evening. He was once an iron-hard defender who once rammed his fist and wedding ring into Diego Maradona’s face and was then considered persona non grata in Naples for years.

Bergamo’s style of play: hard, aggressive, strong running

The anecdote can be used well to illustrate Bergamo’s successful style of play: hard, aggressive, strong running, and with man-marking. With a 3-4-3, Gasperini plays the same basic order as his Leverkusen pedant Xabi Alonso, but perhaps not quite as elegantly. But that doesn’t have to mean anything. Bayer is considered a slight favorite, but should not forget that it was knocked out of the Europa League in the round of 16 against Atalanta two years ago.

For the northern Italians, the final in Dublin will be the biggest game in the club’s history. The club from Lombardy won the Italian Cup once in 1963, but nothing since then. Last week the team lost their cup final against Juventus Turin, but then managed to qualify for the Champions League as fifth in the table. Coach Gasperini is still completely without a title. The urge to finally change that is likely to be immense.

The coach formed a top team over the years

Gasperini’s achievement is that he has formed a top Italian club from an elevator team that always shuttled between the first and second divisions. His work fits perfectly with the club’s philosophy. Club president Antonio Percassi consistently follows an economic model that is similar to that of Borussia Dortmund: the club brings in young talents with prospects and sells them profitably after their breakthrough. Robin Gosens, who now works for Union Berlin, would be an example. Bergamo freed the former German international from Dutch club Heracles Almelo for just 1.1 million euros. Five years later, Gosens moved to Primus Inter Milan for around 25 million euros. The model is complemented by the youth academy, which is one of the most successful in Italy.

The next candidates for profitable transfers are playmaker Teun Koopmeiners or Sechser Ederson, they could bring in up to 100 million euros. The highly talented Giorgio Scalvini, who clubs from all over Europe are chasing, dominates in the center of defense. The young Belgian Charles De Ketelere, on loan from AC Milan, where he was denied a breakthrough, blossomed in Bergamo, with Gianluca Scamacca scoring the important goals in front of him in the center of the attack. The heavily tattooed man, who can do it powerfully and elegantly at the same time, has already scored six goals in the Europa League. Not an easy game for Bayer 04 Leverkusen and coach Alonso.

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Source: Stern

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