Gian Piero Gasperini is flattered by Pep Guardiola’s praise but warns Atalanta can only afford to beat Manchester City in the Champions League tomorrow.
“Each Coach has their own characteristics. He has been and is a reference for many Coaches around the world,” the 61-year-old said at a Press conference.
“They have this philosophy of recovering the ball immediately. This ability was already very much developed when he was at Barcelona, with many attackers in the final third and the ball on the ground. You learn from the best.
“Guardiola’s a great person before being a great Coach. He put an unexpected gesture to me.
“When I was sacked by Inter, he called me through [Guardiola’s aide Manuel] Estiarte, whom I knew from my time at Pescara, and invited me to spend a few days with him in Barcelona.
“For me, it was an extraordinary gesture, one of great sensitivity, because at that moment he gave me something beautiful.
“That’s also why I respect him a lot. Having said that, being here is beautiful, even if City are definitely dangerous...
“It’s clear that we can miss a player like Zapata, but we made up for his absence very well against Lazio.
“We lack an alternative, either on the pitch right away or during the match. He’s important to us and we know that for a few weeks we’ll have to do without him.
“Our objective is to achieve a result that’s the best possible. We’re very pleased to have received so much praise, but we need results. They’re what count.
“Atalanta were appreciated, above all, because they picked up points. It’s not easy, but we also want to pick up some good results in the Champions League.”
Thiago Motta was coached by Gasperini at Genoa and is set to take charge of the Rossoblu...
“I’m delighted that he’s starting out at Genoa. I strongly hope, apart from our game against them, he does well. For me, he was fantastic.
“It was very nice when I was with him. Also for him, his time [at Genoa] completely revived his career as he went to Inter after that, won the Champions League and ended up at PSG.
“There’s a great bond and great respect between us. I wish him all the best.”
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