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Atalanta next manager after Gian Piero Gasperini
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Who is Atalanta's manager?
Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was born in Grugliasco, Italy in 1958. He is a familiar face in Italian football having spent the duration of his 468-appearance playing career in his homeland.
He began his formative years as a footballer with Juventus in the club's highly regarded academy. For nine years, from the ages of nine to 18, Gasperini played in black and white but never managed to make a senior league appearance, although he did feature in a couple of Coppa Italia matches as a substitute. In 1977, Juve loaned Gasperini to Reggiana, who then played their trade in the second division of Italian football. Here, Gasperini would feature 16 times before returning to his parent club.
Clearly, Gasperini had got a taste for first-team action during his loan spell because upon returning he was keen to leave in search of regular playing time. In the summer of 1978, Gasperini joined Palermo who, like Reggiana, played in Serie B. Palermo would be a relatively happy home for the midfielder; he would make over 130 appearances for the club and, incredibly, reach a Coppa Italia final in 1979 which they ultimately lost to Gasperini's Juventus. Palermo was a club which clearly had an emotional appeal to Gasperini - he returned there as a manager later in his career.
Gasperini left Palermo in 1983 in favour of joining fellow Serie B side Cavese where he would stay for a single season before deciding to take a step down to Pistoiese who resided in Serie C1. At both these clubs, from 1983 to 1985, Gasperini featured throughout the entirety of their respective seasons.
Gasperini then made the move back to Serie B with Pescara who, at the start of his spell, played in Serie B. At the end of his second season with the club they would be promoted to the top-flight. This would prove to be Gasperini's first and only taste of the pinnacle of the Italian football pyramid. On the opening day of the 1987/1988 season, on his Serie A debut, Gasperini scored his only career league goal in a 2-1 triumph over Pisa. Pescara would prove to be the club that Gasperini spent the longest period of time with - all-in-all he played 160 for Abruzzo club.
Salernitana would prove to be the penultimate destination on Gasperini's footballing journey, as a player at least. In one season, the midfielder featured 35 times in Serie B before moving on to Vis Pesaro where he would see out the rest of his career.
Gasperini was 33 by the time he joined Vis Pesaro and, as a box-to-box midfielder, his usefulness as a player was beginning to wane. After 61 appearances for the Serie C club, Gasperini decided to call time on his 17-year playing career at the age of 35.
He made the move into management almost immediately, although he wouldn't be seen in the senior side of the game for another decade. He coached several of his old club Juve's youth teams, rising through the ranks and eventually becoming U20 manager.
In 2003, he made his first appearance as a senior manager, taking charge of Serie C1 club Crotone. His time at the club was, when all was said and done, a big success - they achieved promotion to Serie B and, although they did struggle in the latter stages of his reign, they became an established second division club.
He then moved to Genoa where again he was very successful - he guided them to promotion to Serie A and then a 5th place finish the following year. He was ultimately sacked after a difficult start to the 2010/2011 season, but thanks to Gasperini, Genoa have remained a Serie A club ever since.
He then moved to Inter Milan - his time at the club would prove almost comically brief, he lasted just five games. Then followed an equally strange, if not quite as brief spell with Palermo. During that time he was hired, fired, then re-hired and fired once again in the space of 8 months.
He then returned to Genoa where he re-stabilized his career. He spent three seasons with them, achieving solidarity in Serie A and finished with a respectable win-percentage.
This takes us up to the present day where Gasperini is managing Atalanta. His time with the club has been nothing short of revolutionary. In his first season at the helm, Atalanta finished 4th; in his second they finished 3rd, thus qualifying for the Champions League for the very first time - an incredible achievement.