Atalanta's Gomez wants Messi clash as dream Champions League run continues

Goal.com

Papu Gomez believes Atalanta can win the coronavirus-hit Champions League, with the possibility of one-off matches leading into the decider.

Atalanta dazzled before the Covid-19 pandemic halted football in March, the Serie A side seeing off Valencia 8-4 on aggregate to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

UEFA wants to complete both the Champions League and Europa League once domestic leagues have been concluded, meaning the remaining fixtures could potentially resume in August.

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One proposal has been for the quarter-finals and semi-finals to be condensed into one-off fixtures instead of two-legged ties at a neutral venue until the final, which could be held in Lisbon.

Atalanta star Gomez told Tyc Sports: "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, Argentine attacker Gomez picked out a meeting with countryman Lionel Messi.

"Maybe a Spanish side, hopefully I'd play against Leo Messi for Barcelona," the 32-year-old said.

"Considering our playing style, I'd say we would have a better chance against a Spanish team rather than English or German."

The 2019-20 Serie A season is set to resume on June 20 following the coronavirus crisis. Atalanta, who are fourth in the table through 25 games, will host Sassuolo on June 21.

Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta had won six consecutive matches in all competitions prior to the postponement.

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," Gomez told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"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."

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