Saturday August 29 2020
Only in Serie A: Atalanta tank unveiling

Everybody loves Atalanta now, but they weren’t always the cuddly neutrals’ favourite and went too far when presenting their new signing by crushing rival club cars in a tank…

Words: Martin Mork

Behind the firecrackers and flares at the Festa della Dea on July 14, 2013, a tank appeared and on board stood 32-year-old Giulio Migliaccio, introduced to the people of Bergamo just three days after his move from Palermo. An outlandish presentation, but it spilled over into the realm of the unacceptable when the tank rolled over two cars painted with the symbols of bitter rivals Brescia and Roma.

Atalanta weren’t always the neutrals’ favourite they are today, with their all-attack style of football, intelligent behind the scenes management and beloved fans. They had a real reputation as scrappers, fighting against relegation and above all against other fans, with a vicious rivalry against both Roma and their local neighbours Brescia. Long before the Champions League, these were seasons when beating one of those two represented a successful campaign.

The decision to aim the tank at cars painted in Brescia and Roma colours for a ritual squishing caused controversy only three days into his stint with the Dea and the FIGC had to open a disciplinary investigation against the club and the player.

Migliaccio, who had spent the previous season on loan at Fiorentina, was invited to board a tank that was a traditional attendee at the festival, but claimed he did not expect what was about to happen next.

“I was inadvertently the protagonist,” Magliaccio told the club’s website after the incident. “In a party atmosphere, in a huge crowd of fans, including lots of women and children, I was invited on board a tank which has been going around for years at the Festa della Dea, parading players and staff to salute the people.

“I certainly could not have imagined that, at a certain point, we would have crushed two cars taken from the scrap yard. I only realised when we were already going over them and, since I could not see from the back, I did not know they had the symbols of two football clubs on them.”

Migliaccio apologised for taking part and claimed his record on the football pitch proved that it was not something that portrayed his character.

“I’m very sorry about the incident. You just have to look at my not-so-brief career as a footballer to see that I have always been instilled with the values of the sport and with the utmost correctness on the pitch.

“So much that I’ve only received one red card, for two yellows, in almost 500 games as a professional player.”

But the FIGC’s Disciplinary Commission put their foot down and handed the Atalanta midfielder a fine of €17,000 for participating in the ‘behaviour strongly in contrast to the values of sport and threatening to create a climate of tension between the clubs’ fans’.

The club was also fined €17,000 for the incident, but the midfielder appeared 19 times in Serie A the following season and continued with the Dea until he retired after the 2016-17 season.

Migliaccio scored six goals in the Nerazzurri shirt and was eventually sent of for the second time in the 2015-16 season, with a direct red in a 3-0 win against his former club Palermo.

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Have your say...
It amazes me that this wonderful blog is used by some small minded individuals to express their political views and criticize the many great fans and citizens of cities througout Italy. Using the language and bywords of elitist intellegentsia doesn't make it noteworthy or righteous and only degrades the blog and football.
We don't need to be told what to think or how to feel about our teams by activists disguised as bloggers on a football website.
Keep the political opinions to yourself.
on the 30th August, 2020 at 3:36pm

The sum of all parts is less than the whole. Lazio, Roma, Siena et al backward-mentality neanderthals make Serie A look like it exists in the 20th century with regular, unapologetic usage of the n-word, fascist/extremist/xenophobic mentality and/or outlook.

Your cognitive dissonance when you call these asocial elements a minority, when the majority implicitly acquiesce about the minorities, reeks of mental degradation.

Look at the violence in Sweden from 2 days ago...
on the 30th August, 2020 at 7:13am
Coppa, seriously, is there one post of yours that doesn't mention Roma, or isn't Roma related?? :)

Keep up the good work --it's great you are circulating Roma's brand. Remember, even bad publicity is good publicity!
on the 30th August, 2020 at 3:36am
Sorry to burst your bubble but those 'fans' represent Lazio as much as Francesco Totti. They probably make those stupid banners cos they know how easily they will be noticed.
on the 29th August, 2020 at 10:12pm
Small team does what a small team does...
everybody loves atalanta?
Not a chance
on the 29th August, 2020 at 7:54pm
In similar news, long-term fascists sympathisers and supporters SS Lazio greeted Reina with fascism slogans and flags.

No wonder Serie A is no longer a top league, as these anti-social neanderthals are a blot on a once behemoth empire which was the forefront of the world.

When will Italians learn and give up their self-destructive tendencies, who knows.
on the 29th August, 2020 at 3:18pm

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