The international tricolor (3 selections) continues to monitor the performances of Atalanta Bergamo where he played from 2001 to 2003. in the quarter-final of the Champions League.
Can you tell us about this Atalanta Bergamo club , little known in France?
OUSMANE DABO . It is a very well structured training club which has brought out a lot of talents for decades like Roberto Donadoni, Riccardo Montolivo, Giampaolo Pazzini and others. We could compare it to FC Nantes at the time of Suaudeau, or today in Rennes.
How has the club evolved since your visit in the early 2000s?
At the time, there were already experienced players like Cristiano Doni or Massimo Carrera who supervised the youngest. What has changed is that today there are many more foreign players. The club has adapted to the European and world market. Even if there are always some Italians, they are much less numerous than before.
Can we talk about a good draw for PSG?
Not at all! ( He insists ) This is not a good draw for Paris. The Atalanta is in incredible shape. It is a team that runs a lot and puts a lot of intensity into its game. The players are sometimes six in the opposing area, and play a form of total football. That's truly impressive. There will inevitably be a difference in physical condition. We know that when the two teams meet, Atalanta will end its championship with matches that count, while Paris will have played only two cup finals. For me, it's one of the worst draws for PSG. People need to be aware of this, and not trust the names of little-known players.
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VIDEO. Champions League, PSG will face Atalanta Bergamo in quarter
But Bergamo also has defensive problems. Isn't this a chance for Paris?
It is true. Atalanta is not afraid to get lost behind, and if Neymar and Mbappé in particular manage to be in shape, they can hurt them. As they attack enormously, automatically there are holes behind. But knowing that they will play PSG, I also think that they will adapt. They are not going to do anything.
What role does coach Gian Piero Gasperini play in the success of this team?
He has offensive convictions and in all the formations he trains, there are constants like heavy pressing and rapid offensive transitions to the loss of the ball. In Bergamo, he had time to build his team.
If you were to name an Atalanta player?
For me it's Papu Gomez, the captain and the leader of this team. He makes the difference by his game. Many balls pass through his feet, and it is in a way the trigger of the offensives of Atalanta. He is one of the most important and emblematic players on the team since he decided to stay at the club when he was highly coveted. I also really like the Colombian Duvan Zapata in front. But Bergamo is above all a collective in the noble sense of the term.
Is that the secret of their success?
Yes, and containment did not change their level of performance. Bergamo was one of the cities hardest hit by the coronavirus in Italy. I remain convinced that the players are also motivated about this and want to please supporters struck by the epidemic. This psychological dimension also plays a role, I'm sure.