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Scot Munroe On August - 10 - 2011

Atalanta Back In Serie A? Don’t Bet On Them Staying

The new season in just weeks away and it starts under a cloud for newly promoted Atalanta as they have been hit with six point deduction for their part in the betting scandal currently rocking Italian football. The veteran midfielder and club captain Cristiano Doni has been banned for three-and-a-half years which will effectively end his playing career given that he is now 38 years old.

Along with Doni another Atalanta player, Thomas Manfredini, has also received a three year ban. These players seem to be majorly involved, while the main culprit in the scandal - former Lazio striker Giuseppe Signori - has been banned from any football related business for five years by the Italian Football Federation’s Disciplinary Committee. It looks like the club will be appealing on the point deduction, a case that looks set to rumble on into the new season.

Just rewind a couple of months and the club was on a high as recently as May 7 when Atalanta was promoted back to the top flight after just one season in the lower tier. On that day Atalanta beat Portogruaro 4-1 to secure second place as they went ten points clear of their nearest challengers and were mathematically impossible to catch. A couple of weeks later on the final day of the season Atalanta were crowned champions, ending the season two points clear of fellow promoted side Siena.

Even with the summer in limbo, potentially one of the best signings of the transfer window has been completed by the Bergamo side. Atalanta have signed the talented Maxi Moralez from Argentine champions Velez Sarsfield, paying £4.5m (the price of his buy-out clause) for the playmaker. When speaking in his final training session the player said

“I am 24 years old and I think the time is right to go to Europe. I had a wonderful time in Velez and I won two titles, I will leave with great memories of the club, the fans and my team-mates”. He is a wonderful talented player who will prevail in Bergamo and player that will shine in Serie A.”

An experienced player was also needed at the back and that is what Atalanta went out and got, picking up the former Sampdoria defender Stefano Lucchini who  leaves the relegated Genovese side after four years. Another player that has left a relegated side to join the recently promoted Atalanta is Andrea Masiello. The full back has signed from Bari for around £2.5m plus midfielder Marino Defendi. Former Juventus man Masiello rejected a move to Siena in favour of a move to Bergamo.

Atalanta have sent out five players out on loan for the season to gain experience: Ivan Radovanovic has joined Novara, Migjen Basha to Torino, Michele Marconi to SPAL, Francesco Rossi to Lumezzane and Matteo Scozzarella to Juve Stabia. The talent Ezequiel Schelotto returns to the club however, having impressed greatly last season on loan at both Cesena and Catania.

The coach next season for Atalanta is the former Palermo manager Stefano Colantuono. His CV is quite impressive with spells at Sambenedettese, Catania, Perugia, Palermo and Torino. This is Colantuono second spell as manager of the club after a two year stint during from 2005 until 2007. During his second tenure at the club, Atalanta have had a fantastic time and played some wonderful football while gaining promotion back to Serie A last term.

For next season the main objective for Atalanta is survival in Serie A, they don’t want to become the yo-yo club of Italian football. This is going to be a challenge as it stands as they will be starting the season with minus six points. The Orobici will fight to the end, we wait to see if it will be enough

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Scot Munroe

A Football fan for around 18 years since the age of 6 years old. My first love is Swindon town now managed by the mad man that is Paolo Di Canio. I have been a fan of Italian football for around 10-15 years now since the Channel four days back in the Uk with James Richardson. I am a Roma fan as well and i have been following the club since 2003 with the attack minded football with Totti and Cassano.

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One Response so far.

  1. Drake44444 says:

    It reads like a case for their staying. Lots of good additions for a team in such turmoil. Besides the humiliation and 6 points, don’t they have a more talented team than at least 3 others?

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