Massimo Carrera

Massimo Carrera believes Atalanta can win the Serie A title next season with two or three “quality signings” as he hailed Gian Piero Gasperini’s team.

Atalanta have become the great entertainers of Italian and European football under head coach Gasperini, scoring a Serie A-high 70 goals through 25 matches before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

No Serie A team scored more goals last season as Atalanta finished third to qualify for the Champions League for the first time – the Bergamo-based side reached the quarter-finals in Europe prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

Led by Papu Gomez and Josip Ilicic, Atalanta are fourth in the standings and occupy the final Champions League spot as they prepare to resume their 2019-20 Serie A season against Sassuolo on Sunday.

Asked if Atalanta can challenge for the Scudetto next season, former defender Carrera – who captained the club before leaving for Napoli in 2003 – told Stats Perform News: “Why not, I think that Atalanta might win the Scudetto with two or three more quality purchases.”

“I played for Atalanta for seven years and still today I live in Bergamo,” the AEK Athens head coach added.

“Atalanta are a serious and competent club that has built a great team year after year, enhancing young talents from their youth sector.

“Gasperini is doing a great job, they play a good football made of intensity and quality in all departments. It is no longer a surprise but a reality.”

Carrera joined Atalanta from Juventus in 1996, after winning Serie A, Champions League, UEFA Cup, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana titles in Turin.

The 56-year-old also had his first taste of coaching, albeit briefly, at Juve in 2012 after head coach Antonio Conte was handed a 10-month ban – later reduced to four months – for failing to report match-fixing.

Carrera, who played alongside Conte in Turin before reuniting with his former team-mate as technical director in 2011, stepped into the caretaker role and claimed the Supercoppa Italiana against Napoli.

Fast forward to 2020 and Juve – a point clear of Lazio atop the table – are preparing for Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final against Napoli in Rome, before travelling to Bologna on June 22.

Juve also lost 1-0 to Lyon in the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 tie prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

Cristiano Ronaldo has played a key role for Juve since arriving from Real Madrid in 2018, scoring 53 goals in 76 games for the Serie A champions.

“Ronaldo with his qualities is one of Juventus’ weapons thanks to his determination, professionalism and desire to win,” Carrera, who coached Spartak Moscow to the 2016-17 Russian Premier League title, said. “And I’m sure that he could help Juventus to become champions again.”

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