Gian Piero Gasperini admits there’s no guarantee he will stay with Atalanta, even after qualifying for the Champions League. “We need to share the same ideas.”
The Coach has been linked with the vacant Roma job, but he achieved a masterpiece by taking the Bergamo Boys to third place in Serie A, in front of Inter on head-to-head record.
“Prepare your passports, because we are going to a different side of Europe, in the elite stadiums,” said Gasp in his Press conference after a 3-1 win over Sassuolo.
“It’s a great result for the club, for Bergamo, as playing in the Champions League is fantastic. It is a reward for this city. We’ve proved that we can stay there too, because over the last few years we’ve been accompanied by thousands of fans with such joy, enthusiasm and strength.
“Don’t thank me, thank the players. We’ve been training since July 4, played the first Europa League preliminary round on July 26. We never stopped, apart from a week at Christmas.
“The response towards me has been incredible and I will never be able to repay that affection.”
However, when asked about his future, Gasperini held back.
“Tonight we celebrate, we can talk about it tomorrow. I have certain ideas of football and I am happy when they are shared and can be applied in full. We do everything together.
“When I arrived here three years ago, I was won over by Antonio Percassi. I wanted some time off after Genoa, but instead this Atalanta idea excited me. Nobody expected us to achieve this.
“The important thing now is that we share the same ideas. Atalanta finished third. That is a fact. If we are going into the Champions League, we need a squad equipped to do well and not embarrass ourselves or Italian football.
“We can’t go in there with a ‘sad’ transfer strategy and then people a few months later tell me it’s the strongest team Atalanta have ever had. If I am credible and can make decisions, then I am happy.
“Third place was fully deserved and the greatest thing is knowing we made so many people happy. Losing the Coppa Italia Final that way is still an open wound and I can’t talk about it. We could lose to Lazio, but not with those decisions…”
Would Gasperini really walk away from Atalanta and the Champions League for a Roma side in the Europa League?
“I only had one Champions League game as a Coach, in my 15 days of working at Inter. It’s wonderful for Atalanta and it is a contributing factor, but the most important thing for me is being able to work with my ideas.”