Vieri and Atalanta part company
© AFP

Christian Vieri has left Atalanta by mutual consent, the club has announced. The 35-year-old was in his third stint with the Bergamo-based team but failed to make much of an impression this season, starting just three matches and scoring only two goals in his nine appearances for the Nerazzurri.

Vieri had played even fewer matches in his previous stint at the club two years ago and he angered fans when he promptly left to join Fiorentina having spent most of the season on the sidelines while picking up a big salary.

And as fans became increasingly frustrated with the former Italy striker this season they began to make their feelings known vociferously, leading to Wednesday's parting of the ways.

"I want to thank Atalanta for the way they have dealt with me throughout the season and throughout my previous experiences wearing the black and blue shirt," said Vieri in a statement on the club's website.

I want to thank Atalanta for the way they have dealt with me throughout the season and throughout my previous experiences wearing the black and blue shirt.
Christian Vieri on leaving Atalanta.

Atalanta president Alessandro Ruggeri revealed the club had wanted the former Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan striker to stay but that his mind was made up.

"I'm disappointed as I'm sure everyone who loves football is. I don't know what he will do now, whether or not he will continue to play after this experience with Atalanta," said Ruggeri.  "I haven't spoken to him yet but others of my colleagues have and he was adamant, I don't think there was any way to make him stay."

Vieri has changed clubs 13 times over a career that began in 1991 and took him to Spain with Atletico Madrid and France where he played for Monaco. He played for Italy's three biggest teams and had his best season in 2002/03 when he scored 24 goals in 23 league matches for Inter Milan.