Gomez recalls Atalanta’s relegation battles

Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez recalls the relegations battles he and Atalanta have been involved in the night before they make their Champions League debut.

The Italian side will open their Champions League campaign off against Dinamo Zagreb.

They are in group C, alongside, Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Dinamo Zagreb. 

It was only four years ago that Atlanta avoided relegation from Serie A by one win.

The season that followed only five points was the difference between Serie B and the team from Bergamo Lombardy.

Papu making his debut in the Champions League press conference said:

“It’s exciting, a great football sensation and playing this competition for the first time is something extraordinary.”

“We will try to continue what we’ve been doing for three years now and want to bring our football ideology into Europe.”

“I’ve been here a long time and I was talking to the new players who weren’t here when Atalanta were fighting to avoid relegation.”

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“Since Gian Piero Gasperini arrived, everything has changed, above all the mentality.”

“It was already a model club in the way it was run, but we’ve seen incredible growth in terms of mentality and we don’t want to stop here. We intend to keep going.”

He looking forward to challenging himself and his teammates against the very best Europe has to offer.

He added:

“Obviously, Manchester City are at a level above the others in the group, but I am still curious to see how we play against them. I want to see how we react to that situation.”

Papu will also return during the group stages to Donetsk, where he featured briefly before returning to Italy.

He concluded:

“I was just talking to my wife about that, it feels like destiny. I went there to play in the Champions League but never got to participate for various reasons. It’s very surprising to return there and I’m sure it’ll be an emotional moment.”

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