The 32-year-old Argentine played a key role in Bergamaschi’s performance as one of the best European teams, but is moving towards a January exit.
In Italy, ‘Il Tapiro d’Oro’ (‘Golden Tip’) is a trophy that no one wants to win.
This very special ball is shared by a satirical TV show Striscia La Notizia celebrities who found themselves at the center of unpleasant news. It is usually best to publicly mock a good mood.
Pope Gomez, however, has never seen the funny side of Valeri Staffelli’s attempt to make the Argentine the latest recipient.
However, Gomez not only refused to accept the award, which Staffelli left on the roof of his car at the Atalanta training ground on Monday, after failing to secure an interview with the club’s captain.
According to the presenter, Gomez launched it in his direction as he walked away. He missed Staffelli, but hit the ground, leaving the not-so-prestigious award in pieces.
Gomez, however, later refuted Staffelli’s version of events in a post on Instagram.
“I have never thrown any case to the correspondent of the program in question,” he wrote. “I just chose, as is my right, not to receive anything or to answer any questions.”
Each side has two sides, of course, just as there are two sides to Gomez’s current trouble at Atalanta. However, at the moment, no matter how you look at the situation, Gomez is not doing well.
The reason why Staffelli was in Bergamo earlier this week is that one of the adopted sons in the city was supposed to be embarrassed to go out in January.
No player has played a bigger role in Atalanta’s stunning performance as one of the best sides in Europe than Gomez, who has scored 59 goals in all competitions since arriving from Metalist on September 1, 2014.
No Serie A player has amassed more assists (58) or created more chances (514) than the 32-year-old during that time. He is even in fifth place in all European leagues ‘Big 5’ for the chances created, which means that it is not an exaggeration to call Gomez one of the most constant and creative strikers in today’s game.
Indeed, just a month ago, he was the best player on the field at Anfield, as La Dea drew a well-deserved 2-0 victory over Liverpool – the kind of historic result that no Atalanta fan of any vintage would ever have dreamed possible.
Well, certainly only until Gian Piero Gasperini and Gomez started doing miracles in Bergamo.
Atalanta has won only one big trophy in its 113-year history: Coppa Italia, back in 1963.
Thanks to Gomez’s genius, Gasperini’s guidance, the wisdom of President Antonio Percassi and the sensational work of sporting director Giovanni Sartori and head of the academy Maurizio Costanzi in recruiting and developing players over the past six years, this provincial club has just qualified for the last 16 Champions Leagues for the second season in a row.
It is difficult for Gomez to play in the knockout phase, although, at least, not for Atalanta.
During the 1-1 draw with Midtjylland, just six days after starring at Merseyside, Gomez was removed at half-time, reportedly after refusing Gasperini’s request to stay on the right flank.
That argument was picked up by microphones with touch lines, primarily due to the absence of crowds at Gewiss Stadium, but what we still don’t know for sure is what happened in the locker room during that period.
Yet there has certainly been a conflict with some papers that even suggest it is of a physical nature.
The club were silent on speculation, Gasperini did his best to rectify the issues, but Gomez was left out of the team to face Udinese next weekend.
“I’m a coach, the team needs to know to take care of him,” he explained cryptically. “When I make decisions …
“The Pope has always been extraordinary for me, especially in recent years. He was amazing, but there are moments that happen, like last night …
“I think it would be good for him to get some rest, because it takes him a few days to distract himself so he can be ready for Amsterdam.”
Gomez played all 90 minutes while Atalanta took second place in their Champions League group with a 1-0 win over Ajax, and even after that he was singled out for praise from Gasperini, but a reduced number of 10 was left on the bench for the duration of the match. the next Serie A victory over Fiorentina.
At that point, Gomez went to Instagram to confirm his exit, telling his followers, “I just want to tell you that when I leave, you’ll know the truth about everything. You know me well; know who I am. I love you, your captain.”
Until that stage, some of the best European clubs were circulating, with Goal revealing that even Paris Saint-Germain was interested in the January move for the Argentine.
Perhaps surprisingly, Gomez was recalled against Juventus, but was used only as a substitute for the second half in a 1-1 draw in Turin, and caused controversy when a video circulated after his game appearing as the humming of the Bianconera anthem.
It was a signal for the whole affair to become farcical, as Gomez’s wife posted Socrates ’parable on her social media. Gasperini struggled to remain diplomatic; for him it was all just frustrating.
Although Atalanta has rediscovered something approaching their best form after their European efforts, culminating in a characteristic Roma move last weekend, Gomez’s future was still a concern for all journalists.
“We drew at Juventus, we beat Ajax, Roma, and you are just talking about this. Enough! “Gasperini begged in an interview with Sky Sport Italia after the demolition of Giallorossi 4-1.
The obsession with Gomez is understandable, given their connection not only with Bergamo but also with others.
Gomez always admitted that if he met an Italian at 24, instead of 28, he would have become a great player much sooner. Gasperini, for his part, invited the versatile winger of Atalanta, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Yet Gomez now looks more like Lionel Messi of Barcelona, an inspiring and adored Argentine striker heading towards a painful divorce from the club he loves.
It has already been said that Gomez demands a free transfer, which simply will not happen, considering that his contract lasts until 2023 and that he would be quickly kidnapped by a Serie A rival.
As Goal confirmed on Tuesday, Gomez would like to join AC Milan or Inter, which is not surprising given that he and his family reside in Lombardy. It would, of course, be a big disappointment in Bergamo if their idol joined a nearby rival.
This is a city that in 2020 knew a real broken heart, a real devastation, so the departure of the club captain could hardly be a tragedy. However, it would still be a sad end to a beautiful love affair.
Pope, remember, is the captain of a team that has brought little joy to people who have spent most of the year in mourning.
He played a very active role begging people to stay indoors during the lock caused by the coronavirus, putting the welfare of others first, and now his relationship with another adopted son in the city seems to be in pieces.
Just like that Golden Taper award.