Carrera: Atalanta can win Serie A next season

By Sports Desk June 15, 2020

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."

Related items

  • A-League: Melbourne City go nine points clear after beating battling Brisbane Roar A-League: Melbourne City go nine points clear after beating battling Brisbane Roar

    Melbourne City moved nine points clear at the top of the A-League after a battling 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar on Sunday.

    Des Buckingham's side were 2-0 up after only 17 minutes, Connor Metcalfe blasting past goalkeeper Jamie Young before Scott Jamieson doubled the lead via Brisbane's Kai Trewin.

    The visitors, who felt a handball should have been given against Craig Noone in the build-up, responded impressively to draw level before half-time through a fine Joey Champness strike and a Macaulay Gillesphey header.

    City, who fired in 33 shots across the 90 minutes, failed to capitalise on their chances until some brilliance from Scott Galloway, the full-back's superb run sending him into the box where he hooked a clever finish into the left-hand corner after his cross had been blocked.

    City are nine points clear of the chasing pack, with Sydney FC, Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur all on 32 points.

    In the later match, Perth Glory beat Melbourne Victory 2-1 at HBF Park to move seven points clear of the bottom two and keep their top-six hopes alive.

    Robbie Kruse missed a first-half penalty for the visitors, who were given an uphill task when Nicholas Ansell was sent off 48 minutes in for a crude challenge on Callum Timmins.

    Diego Castro combined well with Ciaran Bramwell to set up Bruno Fornaroli to open the scoring, with Chris Ikonomidis volleying home the second. Rudy Gestede grabbed a consolation for Victory after Kruse hit the crossbar.

    Perth are nine points adrift of Western Sydney Wanderers in sixth but have two games in hand.

  • Rumour Has It: Man Utd lining up Sancho move, Juve reject Barca's De Ligt pursuit Rumour Has It: Man Utd lining up Sancho move, Juve reject Barca's De Ligt pursuit

    Manchester United wanted Jadon Sancho ahead of the 2020-21 season.

    But, United were unable to prise Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

    United, though, are reportedly still pursuing the England international.

     

    TOP STORY – UNITED WANT SANCHO

    Manchester United are lining up a bid for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star.

    United were heavily linked with Sancho at the start of the season but a move did not materialise, while the Red Devils have since been mentioned as suitors for fellow Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

    But United have reportedly cooled their interest in Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich target Haaland as they make Sancho their top transfer priority.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Diario AS claims Juventus have rejected a renewed effort from Barca to sign Netherlands centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.

    - Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso, City defender Nathan Ake and RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer are on Jose Mourinho's list of targets as he prepares to take charge of Roma, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Corriere dello Sport also claims Lille midfielder Renato Sanches is wanted by Mourinho.

    - Mundo Deportivo says Barca are continuing to chase Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravernberch. Barca have also been linked with Liverpool's soon-to-be free agent Georginio Wijnaldum, who has since emerged as a reported target for Bayern.

    Chelsea are frontrunners to prise Harry Kane from Tottenham according to Football Insider. Kane has been linked with United, City, Barca, Paris Saint-Germain and Madrid, while Chelsea have also emerged as a possible destination for Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski.

  • MLS: Chicharito inspires Galaxy in El Trafico, Nani stays hot for Orlando MLS: Chicharito inspires Galaxy in El Trafico, Nani stays hot for Orlando

    Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez scored and set up another as LA Galaxy earned bragging rights against Los Angeles FC in El Trafico.

    In the first Los Angeles derby fixture of the MLS season, former Manchester United and Real Madrid star Chicharito guided the Galaxy to a 2-1 victory on Saturday.

    Chicharito, who attempted just one shot in the loss to Seattle Sounders last time out, the sixth time in 10 MLS starts he has taken fewer than two shots (60 per cent) – he attempted fewer than two shots in just 36.7 per cent of his starts in the five major European leagues – improved his league-best tally to six goals with the 11th-minute opener at Dignity Health Sports Park, where he tucked the ball past Pablo Sisniega.

    LAFC restored parity 28 minutes from the end when Diego Rossi equalised following some combination play between team-mates Latif Blessing and Corey Baird.

    But the Galaxy walked away with maximum points after Chicharito teed up Jonathan dos Santos for the 79th-minute winner.

    The Galaxy are second in the Western Conference, level on points with leaders San Jose Earthquakes, while LAFC are four points off the pace in eighth position.

    Orlando City captain Nani stayed hot with another goal in the club's 1-1 draw against New York City.

    Ex-United winger and Premier League champion Nani scored another memorable goal seven minutes into the second half, finding the back of the net with a stunning effort from the edge of the penalty area.

    Nani's third goal in three games had Orlando on track for maximum points until a 77th-minute penalty via Valentin Castellanos salvaged a draw for the visitors.

    "I've been working so hard and been focused on my games," Nani said post-match. "I think this is a reward [for] what you do during the week, the preparation into the games."

    New York top the Eastern Conference on seven points, level with New England Revolution but a point clear of Orlando, New York Red Bulls and Nashville.

    The Revolution lost 2-0 against Nashville, while the Red Bulls ran out 2-0 winners over Toronto.

    Elsewhere, defending champions Columbus Crew defeated DC United 3-1, last season's Supporters' Shield winners Philadelphia Union topped Chicago Fire 2-0, Vancouver Whitecaps beat Montreal Impact by the same scoreline, Dallas and Houston Dynamo drew 1-1, while Colorado Rapids edged Minnesota United 3-2.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.