It was an evening rich in events: from the Nerazzurri’s comfortable win over Venezia with a line-up that was 7/11 different from the one against Juventus to the news that Atalanta and Gian Piero Gasperini will be together until 2024, with an option to extend the deal until 2025: “I’m happy with the contract extension the contract” the Nerazzurri coach commented on the news.
Gian Piero Gasperini, it was an evening filled with events: where should we start from? Should we start from the agreement with the Percassi family and the extension of the contract with Atalanta?
“I’m extremely satisfied. A big thank you to the Percassi family, our President, Luca [Percassi] and their family. I’m happy about this. They’re extending my contract, which is something they’ve been doing every year. I’m very pleased with it and now we have to deserve it.”
This means that you’re continuing on this path, you want to strengthen this Atalanta side, or even improve.
“This means there’s a great feeling with them, that we share the same ideas and programs about the future of Atalanta. We share the same ideas, which is the most important thing to me, as the relationship we have is excellent. It couldn’t be better. This is also important from a technical point of view.”
Talking about the match: you claimed a clear 4-0 victory, which was earned by a different team from the usual one, we can describe it like this without hurting anyone’s feelings.
“No, because I’ve said many times that our squad is made up of a lot of starters, like 16-17-18 players who can start regularly. Hateboer returned to the pitch this evening. Iličić, Muriel, Pašalić and Palomino – who didn’t play against Juventus but is a regular starter – also played this evening. Koopmeiners too. There are a lot of players [who can start]. If you look at these players’ playing time, it’s quite close to the other players’. Sometimes it’s even higher.”
Are you satisfied with their performance? Did they deliver what you expected to see?
“Yes, but I was sure about it, otherwise, I wouldn’t have chosen this line-up. I had seen them during training on Sunday and yesterday. This team is competitive, who can play. [I decided to play them] not because we were playing against Venezia, but because we were fresh from a highly demanding match against Juventus.”
Moreover, your two upcoming matches are supposed to be very demanding: Napoli in the league and then the Champions League match against Villarreal.
“Yes, that’s how it is. Our morale is good, we’ll approach them knowing these games are tough. We’re facing Napoli and immediately after Villarreal. If I could choose, right now I’d say my thoughts go to the game against Villarreal, as it’s a one-off match, it’s decisive. However, I think that producing a strong display against Napoli is the best way to play well against Villarreal.”