by Xavier Jacobelli

Scalvini? A predestined player‘. Word of Gian Piero Gasperini, coach of Atalanta, and Roberto Mancini, manager of Italy European champion. And if they say so there is no doubt. Giorgio Scalvini, 19 years old, was born in Chiari (Brescia), 40 km from Zingonia (Bergamo), where is located the sports centre Achille and Cesare Bortolotti, two historical presidents of Atalanta.

Ever since the 1970s, Zingonia has been the eldorado of the Nerazzurri club: it is enough to mention the names of Scirea, Cabrini, Fanna, Antonio Percassi, later captain and now club president, Tacchinardi, Bastoni, Pazzini, Montolivo, Zappacosta, Barrow, Kessie, Kulusevski, Carnesecchi and many others because the list is really long. If there is an Italian club that could be named Golden Boy’s partner ad honorem this is Atalanta.

The club has always believed in youths. You can therefore easily understand how happy Scalvini’s initial tenth place in the Golden Boy Index made him.  Since seven seasons during which he has racked up six European cup qualifiers, the coach of the Nerazzurri is Gian Piero Gasperini, who has never hesitated to launch them into the first team. This is confirmed by the Serie A debut of Scalvini, then still an Under-18, who joined Zingonia when he was only 12 years old.  It happened on 24 October 2021 (Atalanta v Udinese 1-1).  On 7 April 2022, Giorgio made his Europa League debut, replacing Matteo Pessina in the Europa League quarter-final first leg, RB Leipzig-Atalanta 1-1). Eleven days later, on 18 April 2022, Scalcvini scored his first Serie A goal (Atalanta-Verona 1-2). With the Azzurri, Giorgio climbed all the steps to Mancini: Under-15, Under-16, Under-17, Under-21, until his debut with the European champions, on 14 June 2022, at 18 years and 6 months.

A central defender, right-footed, excellent physique, ductile in both 3 and 4-man defences, Gasperini often employs him as a central midfielder as well. The Atalanta coach said of him: ‘Scalvini is only 19 years old, but he has the maturity and seriousness of a 30-year-old. A true professional, always among the first to arrive at training and always among the last to return to the locker room. He has a great future ahead of him”. And Mancini, literally bewitched: ‘Scalvini will have a great career. At his age I have seen few talents like him’. Scalvini is a great friend of Rasmus Hojlund (also 2003, (Golden Boy Index 78.0, ranked No.16 today), the Danish national in his first season in Serie A, also launched by Gasperini. In a recent interview with TMW, he said: ‘I spend a lot of time with Rasmus, we are the same age, we joke with each other, but neither he nor I give much importance to market rumours. Then I am happy for him if he scores for his national team, I hope he continues to do so with Atalanta. We’re two simple guys, who think about playing and having fun on the pitch’. Perhaps that is also why they will go very far.