Atalanta’s Brazilian defender Rafael Toloi (L) tackles Real Madrid’s Brazilian ahead Vinicius Junior throughout the UEFA Champions League spherical of 16 first leg soccer match Atalanta vs Real Madrid on February 24, 2021 on the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia stadium in Bergamo. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)
Thousands of Atalanta followers ignored the Italian group’s plea to remain away earlier than Wednesday’s Champions League match in opposition to Real Madrid in Bergamo.
Over 4,000 gathered exterior the Gewiss Stadium in northern Italy hours earlier than the 2000GMT kickoff with a celebration ambiance regardless of the coronavirus restrictions.
The cheering followers, together with households with younger kids all carrying protecting masks, waved banners and flags with a fireworks show and smoke bombs set off.
They waited for the group bus carrying Atalanta gamers and workers earlier than the final 16, first leg match.
Atalanta had revealed an attraction from the native well being authority to not flip up on the stadium throughout COVID-19 lockdown measures.
“We keep in mind the danger of contagion of that virus that we are fighting with all our strength and ability,” the group mentioned.
“We live the great and historic game with the prudence and caution that the moment and the preventive health measures require, avoiding meetings, hugs, choirs and gatherings.
“The time will come again to live these attitudes in the utmost freedom, and surely we will be there, but we still need to have patience: the same we have shown in waiting for this dream encounter with Real.”
Real Madrid’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric (R) challenges Atalanta’s Italian midfielder Matteo Pessina throughout the UEFA Champions League spherical of 16 first leg soccer match Atalanta vs Real Madrid on February 24, 2021 on the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia stadium in Bergamo. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)
Atalanta are taking part in their second Champions League marketing campaign, however first knock-out spherical of their house stadium which underwent renovations final season.
Atalanta received their final 16, first leg conflict in opposition to Valencia 4-1 on entrance of 45,000 spectators in Milan’s San Siro in a match thought-about to have been one of many causes behind the acceleration of the virus in Italy with Bergamo on the epicentre of the nation’s outbreak.