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Scamacca, Italy, aims for European glory with Atalanta

Scamacca, Italy, aims for European glory with AtalantaMILAN: With his impressive form placing him squarely in the running for Euro 2024, Gianluca Scamacca will lead the line for Atalanta as they attempt to make history by making it to their first-ever European final. On the eve of their Europa League semi-final second leg against Marseille on Thursday, Scamacca, a classic center-forward, is playing at his best. He had an uneventful first season back in Italy with Atalanta.

With their backs against the wall for the majority of the first leg in southern France, Atalanta emerged from the Stade Velodrome with a 1-1 draw thanks to the 25-year-old’sexplosivefinish last week. He has scored 10 goals and assisted on another in his last 12 games.

In front of fervent home supporters in Bergamo, who have once again witnessed their historically provincial club punch way above its weight, he will be the center of attention for Atalanta’s thrilling attack. Scamacca has scored eighteen goals this season across all competitions, the most of which came after he was left out of Italy’s squad for their friendlies against Venezuela and Ecuador in March.

After criticizing football players for “playing on the PlayStation until four in the morning” in a February interview with Gazzetta Dello Sport, Luciano Spalletti fired him. In an unexpected outburst against the seemingly waning dedication of modern players to the game, Spalletti made no mention of any names, but the attention quickly shifted to Scamacca, who was left out despite Italy’s long-standing struggle to find trustworthy strikers.

“Joking around and rumors”

Due to his size and numerous tattoos, Scamacca, a native of Rome, exudes a roughneck presence and has endured humiliating media coverage involving his family. For no apparent reason, in March 2021, his estranged father broke into cars, including a police car, outside Roma’s training ground. A few months later, Scamacca’s grandfather broke into a bar in Fidene, the neighborhood where he grew up, and threatened patrons with a knife.

After scoring in Atalanta’s 3-0 victory over Napoli in March, Scamacca remarked, “I know what kind of person I am, and I only need to show it to the people who care about me. I’ve had to deal with prejudice since I was 16 years old.”

“I don’t think rumors or small talk are important.” As Italy prepares to defend their European Championship title in Germany this summer after missing out on a second straight World Cup, Scamacca’s form is ideal for both club and country.

In the meantime, Atalanta, who has seven lower league titles and the 1963 Italian Cup in their trophy case, is hoping to improve on their 1988 Cup Winners’ Cup run as a Serie B team. Like Scamacca, Gian Piero Gasperini’s team has struggled for much of the season, but they are hoping for a historic finish to the campaign with an Italian Cup final against Juventus the following week and Champions League qualification also on the line.

Scamacca scored in Atalanta’s hard-fought victory over Salernitana, which saw his team drop to fifth place in Serie A and ultimately qualify for Europe’s top club competition. The outcome of the upcoming two weeks will determine whether Atalanta ultimately brings home a trophy, which would be a fitting tribute to the years of hard work and dedication that have brought the team from nothing to the verge of European glory. -AFP

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