Gian Piero Gasperini (born 26 January 1958) is an Italian football manager and former player, who is currently the manager of Italian side Atalanta.
Gasperini entered the Juventus youth system at the age of 9; during his stay at the youth system, he won an Allievi Nazionali championship and was in the Primavera squad, which included Paolo Rossi and Sergio Brio, that placed runner-up in 1976 behind Lazio. After having played a handful of Coppa Italia matches with the first team, he was loaned to Reggiana and then sold to Serie B club Palermo in 1978. He stayed five seasons at Palermo, all in Serie B, but reached a Coppa Italia final in 1979, then lost to Juventus.
After two seasons with Cavese (Serie B) and Pistoiese (Serie C1), Gasperini moved to Pescara, where he finally gained his first opportunity to play in Serie A after the promotion in 1987. He made his Serie A debut in a home match against Pisa, ended in a 2–1 victory which featured a goal of his. In 1990, he left Pescara to join Salernitana, and retired in 1993 at the age of 35 after two seasons with Vis Pesaro.
On 14 June 2016, Gasperini was appointed manager of Atalanta. During his term at the team, Gasperini turned Atalanta from a club with the goal of avoiding Serie B relegation into a team fighting for Serie A dominance and constantly participating in European competitions. His first season in charge turned out to have a difficult start, Gasperini being on the verge of sacking after 5 rounds which saw Atalanta in the penultimate place after a 0–1 home defeat to Palermo. However, from there on, the team’s results steadily improved, leading them to beat Inter, Roma and Napoli, with a streak of 6 consecutive victories in Serie A leaving them in 6th place during the winter break. Atalanta continued to be the season’s surprise package and finished fourth in Serie A, thus qualifying to the UEFA Europa League.
The following season, returning to Europe after 26 years of absence, Atalanta managed to win the Europa League group with Lyon, Everton and Apollon Limassol undefeated to progress to the round of 16, where they were eliminated by Borussia Dortmund after a 1–1 home draw and a 2–3 away loss in Germany. In Serie A, they managed a 7th place finish, thus earning another UEFA Europa League qualification, this time in the second qualifying round, while in the Coppa Italia they progressed to the semi-finals, where they were eliminated by Juventus.
On 26 May 2019, Atalanta finished third in Serie A during the 2018–19 season, and qualified to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history. Atalanta also reached the final of the 2018–19 Coppa Italia; however they lost 2–0 against Lazio.
On 9 September 2019, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was made an honorary citizen of Bergamo. Atalanta qualified to the round of 16 of the Champions League for the first time after finishing in second place in the group with Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb. Gasperini’s first match in the Champions League knockout rounds ended in a 4–1 home win against Valencia. Atalanta progressed to the quarter-finals following a 4–3 away win over Valencia in the second leg on 10 March 2020, giving them an 8–4 aggregate victory. They were eliminated by Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals; despite going into an early lead thanks to Mario Pašalić’s opener, they lost 1–2 after PSG turned the score with two late strikes by Marquinhos and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.