Capello: ‘Atalanta can compete for the Scudetto but they must keep Ederson and Koopmeiners’


Former Roma and Milan coach Fabio Capello believes Atalanta can compete for the Serie A title next season, provided they hold onto their key players. La Dea are qualified for next seasons Champions League and fresh from their Europa League triumph against Bayer Leverkusen, having earned plaudits for their approach to the game. Speaking with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Capello explained why the Bergamasci could have a say on next seasons title race:

“They will make the choices, and certainly, we cannot expect a 200 million euro transfer market, but there are two positive aspects: first, in Bergamo, they are used to celebrating briefly and getting back to work immediately; second, the Percassis are football people, they know how things work and also that the opportunity that will present itself next year is significant.” These are the words of Fabio Capello, someone who knows how to win and win again.

Do you really see Atalanta competing for the Scudetto?

“Yes, and I will explain why: Gasperini has been coaching the team for many years, and he has a clear idea of what is needed to make the leap. The foundation is excellent, and I also think they don’t need much more to compete. Additionally, all their competitors are going through changes: Juve, Milan, and Napoli will start with a new coach, Inter has recently transitioned from being Chinese-owned to American-owned… Meanwhile, Atalanta would restart with familiar pillars.”

The first step for Atalanta is not to sell their current stars. Is this mission possible?

“There will undoubtedly be offers. I am particularly referring to two exceptional midfielders like Koopmeiners and Ederson. The Dutchman has goals in his feet, attacking and defending equally well; the Brazilian, on the other hand, has extraordinary tactical intelligence, more than Ederson he seems like Emerson, the Puma I coached at Roma and Juve. After a final played in that manner, they will both be sought after by big clubs across Europe. It won’t be easy to keep them…”

Gasperini wants a forward, a midfielder, and a winger: who do you think would improve this Atalanta the most?

“The first addition I would make is a winger with great pace. Did you see Frimpong from Leverkusen the other night? In Serie A, you don’t often play against such fast players, but if you were to face Real Madrid in the European Super Cup, you would need a fullback who can keep up with those rhythms, especially defensively. In general, I would add speed to the team. Gasperini, who is a master at seeing and exploiting players’ potential, would take care of the rest. Have you seen Scamacca and CDK?”

Speaking of Gasperini: will finally winning a trophy make him more “free” mentally?

“I think so. He certainly got a weight off his shoulders. And for the group as well, winning will bring further maturity. This is why Atalanta will be an even more credible contender next year.”


Serie A obsessive.