Mattia Caldara was not prepared to start against Valencia on Wednesday, but jumped at the opportunity to help Atalanta on a “beautiful” night in Milan.
The defender could celebrate a 4-1 win over Valencia in the first leg of their last 16 encounter in the Champions League, but the former Milan defender had to warm up during the game, as he was thrown into the mix because of a surprise injury to Berat Djimsiti.
“It all happened very quickly,” he told Tuttomercatoweb. “They told me to warm up during the five first minutes of the game. The game started and I just did what I can do.
“It’s been a month of hard work and I have done well in training. Something had to happen, I’m really happy. Destiny is a weird thing, I’m happy that we’ve won here. The return leg will be tough, but tonight was beautiful.”
Caldara was eventually brought off after 75 minutes and revealed coach Gian Piero Gasperini made “the right decision”.
“The coach had to put on some fresh legs, I was in pain,” he added. “It was the right decision. I’m happy with that.”
The 25-year-old appeared for the third time since he moved back from Milan and was very happy to contribute in a historic match for La Dea and said the atmosphere was incredible in his return to the Giuseppe Meazza on Wednesday.
“Everything was perfect, it’s a shame about the goal we conceded. We will play as we know over there,” he said. “It was a match that cost us a lot of energy, now we have to think about the match on Sunday against Sassuolo, but I’m happy with how it went down.
“I’m happy to be back [at San Siro], I always thank Milan for their trust in me, but now I think of Bergamo and Atalanta.”
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