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Atalanta want to ‘give contribution’ to Italian football in ‘most important’ game for Gasperini


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Gian Piero Gasperini admits the upcoming Europa League semifinal second leg against Marseille is the ‘most important game’ in his career and hopes La Dea will give their ‘contribution’ to Italian football.

La Dea host Marseille in the second leg of the Europa League semifinal tomorrow after a 1-1 draw in France last week.

“Given its worth, I can consider it the most important game of my career, but many previous matches were just as awaited,” Gasperini said at a press conference on Wednesday, as quoted by Gazzetta.

“Even if they were not worth as much, they were still emotionally important. Football is great because there can be big emotions at all levels.”

Most Italian football fans will support Atalanta tomorrow.

“We are glad about it and we know we have been praised by many,” said Gasp.

“We hope we can give our contribution to the [UEFA] ranking and the credibility of Italian football.

“Perhaps our extraordinary journey will be better evaluated in a few years. We have already proved that even in a small environment and with numbers that are not extraordinary, it is still possible to create a team that is entirely identified with the local area and can win trophies. Ideas, management skills and a sense of belonging are the key,” continued Gasp.

“We have managed to rewrite Atalanta’s history, and the secret is not to set limits and think big with the available tools.

“There is excitement in town and it’s extraordinary. This is the moment. We must do our best and the fans will give us that extra push. The support from our fans has always been vital.”

Atalanta have two more key fixtures coming up. A home Serie A match against Roma and the Coppa Italia Final against Juventus next week.

“We are aware this is an important week, but we must only focus on Marseille, their strong points and weaknesses,” said the Atalanta coach.

“It will be a tough game because Marseille are a strong side. The first leg was useful because we have more knowledge now, so we are more prepared.”

Marseille could be more rested, as they didn’t play a league game last weekend, but Gasp seemed unconcerned.

“We don’t think about that; we only focus on the fact that we prepared well. Those available are all prepared and ready to play 90 or 120 minutes,” he concluded.

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