From UEFA lunch with Rakow to Viscidi’s visit in Zingonia: updates on Atalanta

Italian football club Atalanta held a traditional UEFA lunch with Rakow, a Polish football team, before attending a meeting at Zingonia’s Bortolotti Training Center with Maurizio Viscidi, Coordinator of the Italian Football Federation Youth Teams.

The UEFA Fair Play lunch is an anticipated event where authorities from both teams come together for a pre-match meeting, highlighting the well-cherished spirit of sportsmanship between the two clubs. The meeting was hosted by Rakow Częstochowa in a classic restaurant in Katowice. Officials from both Rakow and Atalanta were among the attendees, with Piotr Obidzinski, Dawid Krzetowski, Samuel Cardenas, Bartosz Barnas, Piotr Mackowiak, and Patrycja Toborek representing the Polish side. Delegates present on behalf of Atalanta included Luca Percassi, Umberto Marino, Romano Zanforlin, and Marco Semprini. UEFA was represented by delegate Florian Prunea.

In another significant development, Maurizio Viscidi, coordinator of the Italian football federation’s youth teams, paid a visit to Atalanta’s academy at Zingonia. Viscidi met with the black-and-blue’s youth sector directors and coaches at the Favini-Vedrai Lab conference room. The meeting that spanned an hour and a half signaled discussions on several topics related to training methodologies and the growth of young footballers.

Viscidi notably emphasized Atalanta’s predominant contribution to the National Youth Teams. He stated that till now, a total of 21 footballers from the U21 to U15 categories in Atalanta’s youth sector have been called up for national duty so far in the 2023/24 season, excluding stages.

Viscidi was quoted saying, “It gives me double pleasure to be here, because Atalanta is the club that gives us the most players for all the blue selections, and because with Roberto Samaden there is a great relationship of esteem and collaboration that has been ongoing for more than twenty years.”

Viscidi further stressed the importance of having players who can perform high-level techniques and make a difference in the final 25 metres of the field, deeming this as essential because such players are increasingly needed. He made clear that the focus should be on the individual players and not just on how the team plays. He emphasised: “In the youth sector, we need to shape the players. Often, however, the team is trained to win matches, rather than training players to function as part of the team: the player is at the heart of the project, this is the fundamental concept and we should never forget it.”

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