Ilicic back in Atalanta squad four months after mental health crisis

by | May 20, 2022 18:57

Atalanta have named Josip Ilicic in their squad for the final Serie A game of the season against Empoli, four months after he was given time off to deal with mental health issues.

The match kicks off at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo on Saturday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

Coach Gian Piero Gasperini named his squad for the match and it surprisingly includes Slovenia international Ilicic.

The 34-year-old had already suffered from mental health concerns following the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, which hit Bergamo harder than any other city in Italy.

He had scored four goals and provided five assists in 23 competitive matches this season before the depression returned in January 2022.

Ilicic has not been in the squad since a brief appearance in the 6-2 win over Udinese on January 9.

Nonetheless, he has been spotted regularly at the training ground, more recently working with his teammates.

It is believed this is an opportunity for Ilicic to say goodbye to the Atalanta fans after five years at the club, as he is expected to walk away this summer.

His contract runs to June 2023, but retirement may well be on the horizon or a return home to Slovenia.



    Stay strong Josep!

  2. Milan141

    Good. I hope the guy gets back into enjoying playing and he’s feeling brighter.

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