Atalanta's meteoric rise in recent years has made the football world stand up and take note. From battling relegation in the Serie A to competing against the elite of European football, the small club from Bergamo has come a long way.
Their recent victory against Valencia in the UEFA Champions League showcases the huge amount of potential and threat they carry.
The main man behind the club's rise is their manager, Gian Piero Gasperini. Ever since he was appointed as their manager in 2016, Atalanta have gone strength from strength. Gasperini's brand of fluid attacking football has turned La Dea into one of the most prolific teams in the Serie A.
Although Atalanta's success shows how well they have played as a team, some stand-out players have performed a key role in the rise of the team with their brilliance. Here, we look at 3 such key players of the Atalanta squad.
1. Josip Ilicic
One of the key players behind La Dea's success in recent years is the Slovenian international Josip Ilicic. The 31-year-old is currently enjoying the best season of his career and is receiving the deserved limelight.
Despite his big stature and strong build, Ilicic possesses incredible agility, dribbling skills and a knack for scoring goals. Additionally, he is renowned for his magical left foot, which is capable of tearing the net as well as producing delightful dinks and incisive passes. Furthermore, the attacker is a highly versatile player and can play in various positions across the front-line.
The Atalanta attacker has been in fine form this season and has managed to contribute to 19 goals, averaging a goal contribution per game. Apart from being adept at finding the back of the net, the forward has also contributed defensively, averaging a successful tackle per game.