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Atalanta winning Europa League is a ´fairytale´, says Gasperini

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 May 2024

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Gian Piero Gasperini hails Atalanta’s Europa League win as a “footballing fairytale” after beating Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in the final on Wednesday.

Ademola Lookman scored a hat-trick to secure Atalanta’s first-ever major European trophy, and just a second in their history – after the Coppa Italia in 1963.

The Bergamo side also became the first Italian team to win the Europa League since its rebrand in 2009, with Parma in 1999 the last Serie A side to win the UEFA Cup.

Atalanta’s victory also ended a 51-game unbeaten run for Leverkusen in all competitions, topping an already dazzling Europa League.

Gasperini, who is now the oldest coach to win his debut major European final, praised his side for their historic win.

“Hugely proud for all of Italy, because it was a cursed trophy, even if it was only Inter and Roma who made the final over the last 25 years and lost,” Gasperini told reporters.

“Having won it with Atalanta is perhaps one of those footballing fairytales that very rarely happens, and it does show there’s still room for meritocracy in football.

“There’s still room for ideas, and it doesn’t only come down to numbers and the super league [clubs].

“We produced a wonderful performance, and we needed to do that against such a top side [in Bayer Leverkusen]. We scored three splendid goals.”

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