Nicola Caccia e l’Atalanta: una storia di passione, conflitto e gol per la promozione in Serie A

“O lo ami o lo odi”. The classic phrase to characterize a player who can divide a fan base both for technical reasons and obviously related to the player’s character. This was the story with Atalanta’s former striker Nicola Caccia: a short story of controversies and decisive goals.

The center-forward born in 1970 arrived in Bergamo in the summer of 1997, part of that offensive construction that also included the Under 21 center-forward Cristiano Lucarelli. Despite his potential, his relationship with the environment was not the best considering the rivalry between the Atalanta fans and those of Napoli (the team where he had played the previous year): this was fatal in the Atalanta fans’ judgments towards him, also because of some superstitious rituals that made the hardcore fans frown.

The start was not too bad with 2 goals in the first 4 games (including one against Napoli), but his seasonal tally fell short with just 6 goals scored, the last one from a penalty against Juventus that resulted in Atalanta’s relegation amidst fan protests (of which he was one of the main targets).

Nicola, however, remained with the black and blue jersey proving to be a good striker despite his strengths and weaknesses: with Mutti, he scored 17 goals, including 4 braces (and a goal against Brescia) despite remaining in the second division; while with Giovanni Vavassori, promotion was achieved with the help of young players and his 16 goals in the season including 6 in the Coppa Italia, one of which was scored in the comeback against Milan.

After three years, he packed his bags but stayed in the province, and despite his character and ups and downs with the fans, he left Atalanta with 117 appearances and 47 goals: for better or for worse, he wrote a page in history.