Atalanta ace Alejandro Gomez has paid tribute to Coach Gian Piero Gasperini. “Without him, none of this would’ve happened.”

Atalanta have gone from relegation battlers to European challengers and Coppa Italia finalists in their three years under Gasperini, with Gomez witnessing the Dea’s rise first-hand.

“There has been a change from everyone, starting with the club,” the forward said at a Press conference for Wednesday’s cup decider against Lazio.

“Especially since Gasperini arrived, our mentality has changed. Before we only thought about staying up. Now we’re playing for much more important objectives.

“Atalanta are one of the best clubs in Italy, but perhaps without Gasperini none of this would’ve happened.

“Ilicic, Duvan and I are the most experienced players in the team, but we don’t feel any pressure.

“I was born a No 10, but football has changed. Now you play more with 4-3-3 and formations that use wingers.

“With Cristante’s departure, we didn’t find a replacement in his role. Then we talked to Gasperini and things went well. I really like playing as a second striker.”

The 31-year-old has been linked with tomorrow’s opponents in the past…

“I know Lazio were interested in me, but I’ve always been certain about staying at Atalanta.

“I don’t know if I can consider myself an icon for Atalanta because I’ve been here for only five years, unlike De Rossi.

“Let’s say that in these [five] years, we’ve all grown together. That makes me very proud, I’m very happy.

“I’m happy to achieve these objectives. Bringing this joy and happiness to all the people of Bergamo is very important.”

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