Mancini's team take on the Netherlands
|The new North End of the Atalanta ground,|
now known as the Gewiss Stadium
The match between Italy and the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League has been switched from Milan's Giuseppe Meazza stadium, which was its original scheduled venue, to honour the city after it bore the brunt of the wave of coronavirus that hit Italy earlier this year.
The right to host the match, which will be played without spectators, is a source of pride and satisfaction for Bergamo, which will host the Azzurri for the third time in the city’s history.
The last time was in November 2006 when the Italy squad then coached by Roberto Donadoni, took on Turkey in a friendly, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
The first time Bergamo staged a senior international match was in January 1987, when the team coached by Azeglio Vicini faced Malta in a European championships qualifier, winning 5-0.
|Roberto Mancini is the current|
coach of the Italy national team
The Italy team, coached by Roberto Mancini, are the current leaders in Group 1A of the Nations League, with a win and two draws from their three matches so far. The Netherlands are in second place with four points. When the teams met in Amsterdam in September, the Azzurri won with a goal from Nicolò Barella, of Inter-Milan.
The city of Bergamo and its wider province lost thousands of citizens, perhaps as many as 6,000 according to some estimates, after the pandemic peaked in northern Italy during spring and early summer. Almost half of the 35,000 casualties reported across Italy since the virus was identified occurred in the Lombardy region, of which Bergamo is the fourth largest city.
The Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, as it was known before the sponsorship deal with the electrical components company Gewiss, is currently undergoing a programme of renovation, costing €40 million, that will increase capacity to 24,000 from the current 21,300.
The stadium is in the Borgo Santa Caterina district of Bergamo's Città Bassa, in Viale Giulio Cesare.