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Atalanta boss Gasperini wins Serie A coach of the year award

Milan (AFP) – Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini was on Tuesday voted Serie A coach of the year for the second consecutive season.

Gasperini won the Panchina d’Oro (the Golden Bench) following a vote of his coaching colleagues in the Italian Coaches’ Association.

The 63-year-old led Atalanta to a third-place finish in Serie A last season and into the Champions League quarter-finals on their debut in the European competition.

Gasperini has transformed the Bergamo club since taking over in 2016, and they are in the running to qualify for the Champions League for a third consecutive season.

“I dedicate this award to all of Bergamo,” said Gasperini, “to the staff and to the players: to everyone, because it is truly a team victory.”

The northern Italian city was at the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus pandemic a year ago.

And Gasperini praised the team spirit.

“Even in difficulties we managed to be an even more united team.

“We played thinking a lot about the pain that hit Bergamo and the people who cheered Atalanta and who had left us, it was a strong motivation for the team, to always give our best.”

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