Sacchi: “Atalanta for the Scudetto? Yes, it’s possible. And I would cheer…”


Former Milan and Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi believes Atalanta could win the next Serie A title, and he would cheer them on. La Dea clinched an impressive Europe League final victory last season while securing a place in the top four along the way. The club have secured the services of young Azzurri forward Nicolo Zaniolo and look set to bolster their squad with a number of key arrivals this summer. Speaking with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Sacchi explained why he thinks a title run isn’t out of the question for Atalanta:

So, could this be the good year?

“You’d need a fortune teller here, which I’m not. However, I’d be really pleased if Atalanta won the Scudetto because it would be a true revolution in football: you don’t win by throwing millions out the window, you triumph with ideas and work. And Atalanta has many ideas and has been working hard for many years. That’s why I would cheer for a championship won by Gasperini’s team.”

Apart from your desire, is it a feasible path?

“I think so, because nothing is impossible. In the past, Cagliari with Gigi Riva and Verona with Bagnoli succeeded. From the province to glory. Why shouldn’t Atalanta do it? However, there must be the premises for this to happen.”

And what are these premises?

“Three. Strong motivation, great team spirit, and dominant play. If these qualities are present, then we can start to reason.”

Do you believe Atalanta has these characteristics?

“Looking at recent seasons, I’d say yes. I’d add that there’s a coach who’s a master like Gasperini, there’s an environment connected with the team, there’s a competent management.”

Now Zaniolo is arriving too. What do you say about that?

“I’ve always maintained that a coach needs reliable players. I hope Zaniolo is reliable. He has the technical qualities, but we know that to be a footballer, you need above all the right mindset. At Atalanta, he can mature definitively, after some setbacks. It seems to me that Gasperini has shown, both with Scamacca and De Ketelaere, that he’s able to recover and relaunch players. The Bergamo air can only do good for Zaniolo.”

What does Atalanta transmit when they play?

“To me, a lot of happiness. I see a team that plays, that attacks, that fights, that has clear ideas, that sacrifices itself. Everything needed to go far. Gasperini, with little, has done a lot. Actually, a whole lot.”

And this year there will be the Champions League too.

“Here, we touch on a delicate point. Because playing in the Champions League is a reason for great satisfaction and prestige, but you need to take into account that it takes away a lot of energy.”

However, even in the past season, the Bergamo team was engaged until the end in the Europa League.

“The Champions League is tougher. There are matches that last ten or fifteen days because you start thinking about them a week before they’re played. Atalanta will need an expanded squad.”

Where does Atalanta still need to improve?

“I noticed, in the last season, that they had some lapses in consistency. Gasperini will need to emphasize this point a lot. However, we shouldn’t ask too much of this team that has already done extraordinary things. Atalanta, for all other clubs, should be a model to follow.”


Serie A obsessive.