Saturday January 20 2018
Gasp: 'Inter were fallen giants'

Atalanta Coach Gian Piero Gasperini reveals he almost joined Napoli in 2011 and doesn’t consider his brief spell at Inter to be with “a big club.”

The tactician is earning so many plaudits for Atalanta’s performances in Serie A, the Europa League and Coppa Italia, but his career took a bizarre turn in 2011 when lasting just six competitive matches on the Inter bench.

“I never really had the chance to be the Coach of a big club,” the 60-year-old said in the Corriere dello Sport.

“In my career, I had three Serie A games on the Inter bench, who at that moment were… a fallen giant, only to fall even more in later years.

“At the time they had millions of fans and enormous media attention, but that was it. I never even started my work there, because I wasn’t given time. The past is the past.

“I can console myself with the fact I finished ahead of Inter in the table both with Genoa and Atalanta.”

Atalanta face Napoli on Sunday and Gasperini reveals he almost took charge at the Stadio San Paolo.

“In 2011, before signing for Inter, I met Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis in his offices in Rome. It was a pleasant chat. De Laurentiis is a winner, as he took Napoli from Serie C to challenging for the Scudetto. The results speak for him.”

Gasp has continued the success from last season’s fourth place finish despite selling the likes of Roberto Gagliardini, Franck Kessie and Daniele Conti.

“Atalanta always take into account the possibility of losing their star players, so I have become used to it too. After all, at Genoa I relaunched Diego Milito, Thiago Motta, Rodrigo Palacio and Mimmo Criscito.

“It’s sad to see them go, but at the same time, their development is like a gold medal for me and the club.”

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