Champions League: Atalanta midfielder Marten de Roon reiterates promise of pizzas if they win title
De Roon reiterated a promise he had made a few months ago after being asked by an Atalanta fan about what he would do if his team won the European title. The Dutch player said he would throw a party in Bergamo's central square and everyone would be invited.
Lisbon: There will be a trophy — and lots of pizzas — if Atalanta pulls off an upset and wins the Champions League this month.
The team from the small Italian city of Bergamo faces Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday in the first quarterfinal of the European tournament in Lisbon.
"As I have said, I will make pizza for 1,000 people if we win the Champions League," Atalanta midfielder Marten de Roon said on Tuesday. "But if we lose, we can try again next year."
De Roon reiterated a promise he had made a few months ago after being asked by a fan about what he would do if his team won the European title. The Dutch player said he would throw a party in Bergamo's central square and everyone would be invited.
"I think it's a very important match for everyone — for the players, for the city, for the province, for Italy," De Roon said.
Atalanta has had a remarkable run in what is its first appearance in the Champions League. Coach Gian Piero Gasperini said his team has little to lose against PSG and its star-studded squad.
"I have already said this, we are never going to lose," Gasperini said. "We are going to win or to learn. We are here possibly to learn but we are going to try to win the competition."
He said it will take the entire team to help defend well against Brazilian forward Neymar.
"Neymar is one of the best players in the world, so this is a problem for all teams who face him," he said. "I think the best way to defend against him is to play well ourselves, with everyone focused. We'll try to do it as a team with our organization."
Gasperini said he is expecting Kylian Mbappé to play from the start after recovering from injury.
"We will see what happens," he said. "Of course, Mbappé is another amazing player who can add a lot to his team. We are getting ready as he is going to play."
The Champions League is finishing its season with a last-eight mini-tournament played in two Lisbon stadiums. The semifinals will be played next week, and the final on 23 August.
It was a historic victory for Al Ahly, who became the first club to win back-to-back Champions League titles three times.
The 2020 competition was disrupted heavily by the pandemic, and concluded with a 'Final Eight' tournament in Lisbon after it was forced to move away from Istanbul.
Every big tournament has something unique about it, as did Euro 2020, which actually took place in 2021 because of the global pandemic. Here are some of the key takeaways from the mega-event.