Nickname(s): The Black-Blues
All-Time Ranking: 11th
2007/2008 Finish: 9th
2008/2009 Position (as of 04/07): 10th
Coach: Luigi Del Neri
Key Players: Cristiano Doni, Sergio Floccari, Simone Padoin
Atalanta was founded in 1907 in Bergamo, Italy. They have historically been one of the best clubs located outside of a major city. Since 1928, Atalanta has played at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, a historic venue that holds 25,000 fans. The team has had spells in both Serie A and Serie B, and has never finished above 5th in the top flight.
The club’s only major trophy was captured in 1963 when they won the Coppa Italia title (which is similar to our US Open Cup competititon). While the organization has a very good youth system, it seems the big clubs often woo its youngsters away with higher salaries. Though they haven’t had much success, their fans are very dedicated.
American Sports Doppleganger:
Atalanta reminds me of the NFL’s perpetual also-ran, the Buffalo Bills. Both teams have been unable to win any league titles and both are in smaller markets that sort of prohibit them from competing with the biggest teams with the deepest pockets. I wanted to compare them to an Atlanta team (for obvious reasons), but I just don’t think any fit.