We moved into the new decade of the 2030s on a hot streak of league form and having won all bar two matches thus far in the season.
The year began with one of our players winning the European Golden Boy for the first time, which is a bit of a surprise given the rich pool of talent we’ve had come through the ranks. Left winger Godwin Okechukwu collected the reward for his fine form in 2029.
And the footballing year began with another big-money sale, as centre-back Wesley Dondon moved to FC Bayern for £52 million – taking our incoming fees for the season to £326 million.
The new year began with an Italian Cup first-round win over Crotone, then a first defeat of the season as we lost 3-2 to AC Milan in the Italian Super Cup – having been reduced to ten men then conceding an extra-time winner.
Four more league wins took us to 22 straight Serie A victories, which came to an end with a 1-1 draw at Juventus, in which they scored an 88th-minute equaliser through Italy international Cristian Bonotto.
A truly remarkable Italian Cup tie followed that. Taking on Inter in the semi-final I rested our first-teamers, as did Inter, and we somehow managed to come out with a 5-0 victory with a brace from midfielder Damian Oliva and goals by two more midfielders Hallvard Steinkjer and Akson Djalo and exciting young striker Bjorn Amler. Presuming progression to the final was in the bag I again turned out the same backup players, only for Inter to put their first-team back in. Remarkably we lost the return leg 5-0, but even more surprisingly we managed to win the penalty shootout to send us through to the Final in unusual circumstances!
The league form picked up where it had left off with another impressive string of victories, including a 6-1 thumping of Empoli. In this game Timmi Uldbjerg not only scored twice he also amassed three assists, alongside a Cosimo Marco Da Graca brace.
That was followed by a 4-0 home win over AS Roma, thanks to goals from Godwin Okechukwu, his replacement Lahcen Abdellaoui, Uldbjerg and Da Graca. That saw our all-time record goalscorer reach the mightily impressive tally of 200 league goals for Atalanta.
But our unbeaten campaign came crashing to an end with a 4-1 thumping by Milan at San Siro. We actually took the lead through Okechukwu only for them to equalise, then a William Nsiala red card after an hour handed them the initiative and they dominated from there on.
We got back to winning ways with a 4-0 thumping of Crotone, then a 0-0 draw at Torino was followed up with a second 5-0 smashing of Fiorentina of the season, with Giacalone this time scoring twice along with goals from wingers Alex Dongmo, Okechukwu and Abdellaoui.
Two more wins on the bounce saw us wrap up a seventh straight league title with plenty of games to spare!
Our Champions Cup quest this time came to an end at the quarter-final stage. Having done superbly to defeat Barcelona in the first knockout round we again came up against Manchester United, who we’d also played in the group stages. We were held to a 1-1 draw at home, then couldn’t find a way through at Old Trafford and drew 0-0 to exit cruelly on away goals.
However, we did manage to wrap up a Quadruple as we gained revenge on Milan – who’d beaten us twice this season – with victory in the Italian Cup Final. The match was decided by a crazy spree of goals shortly before half-time. Da Graca put us ahead on 40 minutes only for Eddy Salcedo to equalise a minute later, Uldbjerg restored the lead another minute later, then our main man Da Graca doubled his tally on the verge of half-time.
Da Graca again finished second in the Serie A top scorers chart to Juventus’ Bonotto, with Okechukwu, Uldbjerg, Da Graca claiming the top ratings in the league, while Uldbjerg topped the assists charts and set yet another club record for assists in the process.
Ulbjerg finished the campaign with 12 goals and 23 assists, while Da Graca racked up 33 goals and Okechukwu averaged a rating of 7.52 through the season.
The end of the season also saw our youth product Moreno Cermesoni named second in the World Goalkeeper of the Year award, which is pretty impressive – especially as his current backup Christopher Onovo is set to become much better than him.
As you can see from our all-time XI below, Da Graca has now raced along to 285 goals in 414 appearances in all competitions. He’s also not too far away from the all-time league appearances record of 396, currently held by Cristiano Doni.
The season ended by bidding farewell to club coach Stefano Bonaccorso, who retired having been at the club since 1991 and spending an incredible 39 years on the coaching staff.
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