|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Atalanta FC|
2020 03 22 Retrieve
[Atalanta captain Papu Gomez was among those left outraged by such a blatant disregard for the welfare of others] I tell all the runners, or fake runners, who want to still go out and train, stay at home. Enough, enough, enough! Every morning we wake up to bad news. People are dying, and you still don’t realise? Everyone at home! Nobody should go out
2020 03 23 Retrieve
[Atalanta captain Papu Gomez predicts Serie A return a ‘long time’ away] Honestly, at this moment it is very difficult for me to think about football. I do not see how it can be played again in the short term. I do not see a solution in the near future. If they say that it will start again in a month, people will still be infected and we will be travelling by plane or by coach, going to hotels. Possibly there will be fewer people infected, but it won’t stop in a month.
[Gomez has been isolated at home with his family] I train, yes, just to keep moving. The reality is that I do not know when I will return to practice with my team-mates or play a game. I think very little about football because unless a cure or a vaccine is found, I think this is going to last for a long time
[Gomez reserved praise for Argentine giants River Plate, who recently refused to open their stadium for a scheduled Copa Superliga game with Atletico Tucuman] I think the players had a lot of courage and the club took a very brave decision. Here, football should have stopped a week or fifteen days before it did, and they did not do it. Nobody said anything. They played Juventus against Inter, [Juve defender Daniele] Rugani caught it and passed it on to others. That a club like River, who are very powerful, has taken that measure, I think they are an example
2020 04 23 Retrieve
[Atalanta captain Papu Gomez is clearly a happy man to be playing with strike partner Duvan Zapata rather than against him] Zapata’s shorts look like underwear, he is so big. Sometimes I don’t even want to get close to him in a match because he’s a beast and it hurts. When he is feeling good he’s like a train – you throw the ball forward and ‘ciao!’
There are people like Remo Freuler, Marten de Roon and Mario Pasalic who have three lungs and run three times as much as us attackers to support us. Having such attack at Atalanta is crazy, since the club doesn’t have a big budget. Every year, two or three of our starters are sold but the team always makes the most of it because the new ones integrate immediately.
When we play against the Primavera every Thursday, we have to ‘throw some sticks’ to stop them, because they are strong and I get p*ssed off. Traore, 17 years old… he looks like Messi. There are defenders in the first team that sometimes cannot stop him. Very strong players come out of Primavera every year
2020 06 10 Retrieve
[Atalanta’s Papu Gomez wants Messi clash as dream Champions League run continues] We touched the sky, experiencing a unique and historic moment for the club and city. It’s incredible that it all ground to a halt. Now we’re going to be in the Champions League quarter-finals and it would frankly suit us to play one-off games, because anything can happen in 90 minutes. It’s going to be spectacular
[Asked who he would like to face in a Champions League final] Maybe a Spanish side, hopefully I’d play against Leo Messi for Barcelona. Considering our playing style, I’d say we would have a better chance against a Spanish team rather than English or German
[Italy was hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic and Gomez has stressed he’s only willing to play now that the worst of it seems to be over] If I had been asked two months ago whether he wanted to keep on competing, I’d have said no. But now, there is more security, this virus seems less aggressive and I’m in favour of playing again. Serie A is an industry which involves millions, there are lots of people who need football to live, not only the players. Football is a spectacle, we are very keen to get going again, without thinking about having to play 13 games in 43 days