Monday, September 24, 2007

History of Atalanta B.C.

The club was founded in 1907. A football club had existed in Bergamo since 1904. Founded by Swiss emigrants, it was known as FC Bergamo. The rival Atalanta club grew out of a division between different sporting societies in the town. The name is taken from the female athlete of Greek mythology. The FIGC was unimpressed with the new club and did not officially recognize them until 1914. The current club is the result of a merger between Atalanta and a third team called Bergamasca. The first, black and white coloured and the second wearing a blue and white shirt, merged in 1924 as Atalanta Bergamasca di Ginnastica e Scherma 1907. The team moved to the site of the current ground, on the Viale Giulio Cesare, in 1928.

Atalanta joined the Italian league in 1929. The club first reached Serie A in 1937, but was relegated immediately. The club returned in 1940 and remained in A until 1959; after a single season in Serie B the club was promoted and lasted a further decade in A, before relegation in 1973 led to an uncertain period of promotion and relegation between the two levels.

The club achieved its highest position in 1948, finishing in 5th place. In 1981 the club fell into Serie C1, a blow which revitalised the club. The team returned to B the next season and made it back to A in 1985. The club's form in Serie A remains uncertain, as it was relegated in 1988, 1995, 1998 and 2005.

In terms of titles the club has won little, their sole silverware is the 1963 Coppa Italia. The club has had very few good runs in Europe, the best spell ending in a Cup Winners' Cup semi-final in 1988; in 1991 Atalanta reached UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

The club has had very few famous players. However, Atalanta has been proven to run a successful youth system, producing footballers like Roberto Donadoni (Italy national team coach from July 2006), Alessio Tacchinardi, Domenico Morfeo, Giampaolo Pazzini, Riccardo Montolivo, Ivan Pelizzoli, and Samuele Dalla Bona who have quickly been grabbed by the bigger clubs. Other players who have graced the Atleti Azzurri d'Italia include Claudio Caniggia, Glenn Strömberg, Alemao, Paolo Montero, Christian Vieri, Filippo Inzaghi, Gianluigi Lentini, Cristiano Lucarelli, Cristiano Doni, and, in the past, Stefano Angeleri, Adriano Bassetto, Antonio Cabrini, Angelo Domenghini, Humberto Maschio, Giuseppe Savoldi and Gaetano Scirea.

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