Gian Piero Gasperini said Atalanta are proud to play against Real Madrid in the Champions League. ‘We want to make a good impression’.
Ahead of the first leg against Real Madrid at the Gewiss Stadium, the Orobici coach hopes to arrive in Madrid with a chance of advancing to the quarter-finals of the competition.
“We were able to do our business on the road and that allowed us to advance [from the group stages],” Gasperini said at a press conference.
“We want to arrive in Madrid and still be in the running. Tomorrow is nothing more than the first half.”
La Dea are fifth in Serie A, one point behind the top four, and have qualified for the Coppa Italia Final in May.
“It’s a good time for us, for what we are doing in the League. We are in an important period of the season; we have also reached the Final of the Italian Cup and it puts ut in a position to have an important goal until the end of the season.
“The only real regret is the absence of the fans. We hoped to get to this point of the year with the fans in the stands, but it wasn’t like that.”
But Gasperini admitted the Orobici are up against it when Real Madrid arrive, even if they have a host of key players out injured.
“Real are the most successful team in the world, they have more income and fame,” he said. “For Atalanta, it’s a pride to meet such a club, then comes the game. We have to think about the match.
“They have such a habit of playing in this competition and they are very dangerous even without some players.
“Whoever goes on the pitch is still a starter. We want to make a good impression.”
But the coach said the lack of experience could also help motivate his players.
“The enthusiasm, we don’t have their habit of playing these games, while they have played against more famous teams than us.
“For us, it remains an event, we have some more motivation.”