Walking through Bergamo, the epicenter of the “biological bomb” as defined by the mayor of the city to Atalanta-Valencia in March 2020 at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, is devastating from the point of view chalky. “In other times, there would be a big day atmosphere.” It is said behind a La Dea mask by one of the employees of the Atalanta Store, in the middle of Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, an artery that leads to the historic Città Alta. In the club bergamasco store, where a five-meter-long screen announces the Real Madrid game, only two customers. “It is normal, unfortunately in Bergamo we live in an extreme situation”, continues Mario, the clerk of a place without tifosi in sight.
The only black and blue colors, the nerazzurri of the Atalanta, they are seen in the masks. “Having Madrid here is a historical fact and we are a club with 112 years of life,” begins veteran Luigi. Together with a friend and their two dogs, these two Bergamascan retirees walk around the Gewiss Stadium knowing that it will happen there today they will have to see it on TV. “I was born in 1953 and since 1953 I am typhoid from Atalanta, “he says, touching his chest, and points to a nearby point. “I live fifty meters from the stadium and I will not be able to enter, we are a small but proud city and the pandemic has stolen the match of the century from us”.
The old Atleti Azzurri d'Italia stadium, now Gewiss for sponsorship issues, only has those two fans at the time of the pomeriggio. Not a trace of the Ultras (Ultras 1907) of the Curva Nord beyond the perennial spray painted with slogans like 'CR7? Do not grazie'and the most varied insults to the traditional enemies of the Bergamasca fans, who go from Brescia to Torino via Lazio and the two almost neighbors, Milan and Inter. 'Solo Atalanta', can be read in one of the largest. The reason for being of a city whose flag is the province with the least population (122,000 inhabitants) with the longest years in Serie A, sixty. At least, the bergamascos hope that the most radical do not offer images like the ones that Lazio's ultras gave last Tuesday hours before receiving Bayern. “Several hundred went to escort the team's bus and many went without masks or keeping social distance, that cannot happen here,” says a delivery man who is delivering last minute material at the stadium.
Bergamo did not experience Atalanta-Valencia last year, it was played at San Siro, but he has the same faith now that the stakes are higher. “Madrid's midfield is very strong, with Kroos, Modric, Casemiro …”, analyzes Luigi, working as an analyst, “but Atalanta is in a very good moment, we will win 2-0”. Although it is an empty goal, Bergamo will push from outside.