La Dea is heading back to Europe

Atalanta BC v AC Milan - Serie A

The biggest sensation of 2016-17 Serie A season comes from Lombardy but not from Milano where there is another dry season by both Milan clubs,but from the province of Lombardy.Bergamo is a city of 120000 inhabitants and it just 50 km north of Milano,but Bergamo is proud of the club which represents the city and that is Atalanta.La Dea or The Goddess how Atalanta is nicknamed it is the queen of the provincial clubs and one of the most consistent sides from non-metropolitan areas which played 56 seasons in the Serie A,28 seasons in the Serie B and only one single season in the Italian third division.The story of Atalanta begins in 1907 when they were founded,in 1929 they joined the Italian league and in 1937 they were promoted to the Serie A,but stayed for a single season when they were relegated and in 1940 achieved promotion again,but this time their stay lasted for 19 years where in 1948 they achieved their highest position in Serie A which was a 5th place,the period of stability in the Serie A ended in 1959,again the nerazzurri from Bergamo were relegated and again they spent a single season in the Serie B.In 1963 under coach Paulo Tabanelli they won the Coppa Italia,their only major honor to date which allowed them to participate in the 1963-64 UEFA Cup Winners Cup where they were beaten by Sporting Lisabon in the 1st round.In 1973 they were relegated to the Serie B and from that moment La Dea built a reputation of a yo-yo club in Italian football,in 1981 they were even relegated to the 3rd division and in 1984 they were in the Serie A.Atalanta was more or less yo-yo club bouncing between the Serie A and B.But also they achieved quite impressive results in European competitions,in 1988 under Emiliano Mondonico they made it to the semifinals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup while competing in the Serie B which is still the best ever perfomance by a non-first division club where they were defeated by KV Mechelen 2-1 in both matches.Another decent result in Europe came in 1991 when La Dea reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup where they were defeated by Inter 2-0 at their home ground.That was the last which was seen of the La Dea in Europe until now,since 2010 after their last promotion the Serie B the La Dea is playing in the Serie A with mixed results until the hiring of Gian Piero Gasperini who coached Genoa,Inter,Crotone and Palermo before being hired last summer by the La Dea which finished 13th last season under Edoardo Reja.But no one could ever predict that the La Dea could finish for the places in the UEFA Europe League and return for the first time in 26 in a European competition.La Dea started the season with a 4-3 loss at home against Lazio,but it was in September that La Dea would begin to start winning and making history,it began with a 3-1 victory against Crotone and for two months from mid-September to mid-November they made a run of 9 matches without defeat which included a 1-0 victory against Napoli at home thanks to a goal by Andrea Petagna,a 2-1 against Inter and a huge 2-1 victory against Roma in mid-November,another run came which was shorter from mid-January to the beginning of March where they collected 17 out of 21 where again they defeated Napoli at the San Paolo 2-0.After the 7-1 catastrophe against Inter,La Dea started an end of the season run which lasts for two months which gave them favorable results,they easily defeated Pescara and Genoa and achieved draws with Roma and Juventus which were their toughest matches of the season,but a crucial victory came against Bologna in mid-April and last weekend they sealed the deal for a return to European competiton for the first time in 26 years when they defeated Empoli which is fighting for survival.Besides Gansperini on the bench which one of the most resposible for this kind of achievement there is the solid roster which is made of solid players which some of them will have bigger roles in the future.One of them is Frank Kessie,which a 20 year old from the Ivory Coast and the future of African football,Kessie has been playing in the La Dea for the last two years and his plays in the midfield have attracted a lot of attention from bigger clubs,AC Milan decided to buy Kessie and will pay Atalanta 28 million Euros for his transfer.The man who is scoring goals for the La Dea is Argentinian midfielder Alejandro “El Papu” Gomez who in Argentina played for Arsenal Sarandi and San Lorenzo until he transfered to Italy seven years ago to Catania where he spent three season until he went to the Ukraine playing for Metalist and then three years ago he came to play for the La Dea his matches have attracted Jorge Sampaoli who left Sevilla and took over the bench of the Albiceleste and Gomez got a call-up for the Albiceleste where he will play alongside Messi,Di Maria,Icardi,Higuain and others in the national team.La Dea is the sensation of the 2016-17 Serie A season and this weekend at the Atleti Azzurri D’Italia against Chievo the celebrations can begin for a return to Europe after 26 long years.

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