Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini expresses pride in bringing the Europa League trophy to Italy after 25 'cursed' years, following his team's impressive 3-0 triumph over Bayer Leverkusen in the final. Ademola Lookman's remarkable hat-trick led Atalanta to their second major trophy in 117 years of history in the final held in Dublin on Wednesday. This victory marked the first time an Italian club won the competition since Parma in 1999, when it was referred to as the UEFA Cup.

Gasperini told reporters, 'I am immensely proud for all of Italy, as it was a cursed trophy, despite only Inter and Roma making the final in the last 25 years and losing. Winning it with Atalanta is like a footballing fairytale that rarely occurs, demonstrating the presence of meritocracy in football. It illustrates that there is still room for fresh ideas, and success is not solely dependent on numbers and the super league (clubs).'

The club, founded in 1907, holds a deep-rooted history closely linked with the northern Italian city of Bergamo. In 2020, Bergamo emerged as a COVID-19 epicenter, facing a severity of the outbreak that reported a death rate five times higher than previous years and inflicted severe damage on its economy. Gasperini, when asked about the significance of this victory for the people of Bergamo after the challenges posed by the pandemic, commented, 'It's difficult to erase certain traumatic experiences even with the passage of years. They were extremely painful moments. The people of Bergamo consistently demonstrated resilience, even during challenging times. While we may not be able to completely alleviate the pain, I believe we have succeeded in bringing smiles to the faces of the people of Bergamo.'