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There is a big gap between the 13-time European champions Real Madrid and Atalanta, who are only competing for the second time.

Atalnta welcomes Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League round of the 16th AP

Milan: A little more than a year after “Game Zero”, Atalanta is back in the knockout round of the Champions League.

Last year’s game against Valencia in nearby Milan on February 19th was the biggest in the Club history, and a third of Bergamo’s population briefly traveled to San Siro to score a 4-1 victory.

A short time later, military trucks drove coffins from Bergamo because the crematorium couldn’t keep up with the small town became one of the epicentres of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

The game was dubbed “Game Zero” because of the spread of the disease, which occurred in both northern Italy and Spain.

More than 40,000 fans in Stadion enthusiastically celebrated each of Atalanta’s four goals on that day – the last time the team played in front of their own fans.

On Wednesday Atalanta welcomed Real Madrid to the first leg of the round of 16 in an empty Gewiss stadium that was being renovated was.

“It takes us certainly a lot gone, “said Atalanta striker Luis Muriel. “I think it is a big disappointment for the people of Bergamo not to be there at these great events – especially in our own stadium and not like last year when we played in Milan.”

” These moments should definitely be shared with you. You have always been close to a team that has fought for the bottom spots for so many years. It’s sad not to be able to play these games with fans. “

Between the 13-time European champions Real Madrid and Atalanta, who are only competing for the second time, there is a big gap. However, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini believes this could help his team.

“We have the enthusiasm,” he said. “We are not in the habit of playing these games, but they have played against more famous teams than we do.

Atalanta has done well against more famous opponents before. The team beat Liverpool in Anfield in the group stage of this year’s competition and was also minutes away from beating Paris Saint-Germain in last year’s quarter-finals.

Real Madrid traveled to Bergamo with an injury-related squad. Striker Karim Benzema did not recover in time and stayed with Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal, Federico Valverde, Rodrygo Goes, Álvaro Odriozola and Éder Militão in Spain.

“We have to be very careful, because with all the absences that Real have, I am convinced that we will find a team that is even more attentive and focused, “said Gasperini.

” Real are one of the strongest teams in the world. I can’t really say how big the percentage gap is with us, but I can say that in these types of games we’ve always given a little more and raised a level. “

Although Madrid have played without several key players lately, they were able to go up to three points ahead of the Spanish leaders Atlético Madrid.

” No, we want to win, “he said Field and prepare for it. It’s true that there are players, but there are also players who are here ready to give it their all. “

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February 24, 2021 11:00:14 AM

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Ref: https://www.firstpost.com