Matteo Ruggeri, when the working class goes to Heaven. Decisive in Europa League

Matteo Ruggeri is the symbol of the working class going to Heaven. The one that should start in the second line and instead finds itself in the limelight thanks to its performances. Linear, calm. A few leaps up top, a few down low for goodness sake, but usually always sufficient. Lots of assists this season, but also two goals, one of which is beautiful: the one against Sporting Lisbon, in the qualifying round, is clearly the appetizer of what happened in the semifinal, with a right foot: a perfect insertion and the shot into the top corner, for the 2-0 that, in fact, cut the legs off the opponents and sent Atalanta to the final.

Then in Dublin everyone can remember how it went. Sure, Bayer Leverkusen didn’t play a great game, but Ruggeri was pretty calm, even without any great moments. But with Lookman up front, he shook up the opposing defense. He even came close to being called up for the European Championships, only to be cut.

He will probably have time to make up for this absence, he has a long season ahead of him and the possibility, right from the start, of lifting a trophy, even if he will have Rodrygo and Valverde in front of him, not exactly two easy opponents to stop. Today Matteo Ruggeri turns 22.