Josip Ilicic fell into depression after contracting COVID-19, Atalanta captain Papu Gomez reveals

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Atalanta captain, Papu Gomez has revealed that his teammate, Josip Ilicic suffered depression after contracting COVID-19.

The forward took permission to return to his country after testing negative for the virus.

Recently, Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo, joined the profile of stars who got infected a few days after Zlatan Ibrahimovic recovered.

Josip Llicic scored 15 goals for Atalanta last season

This led to the absence of the Slovenia star in the final games of last season that saw his team reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in their debut season.

It could be recalled that the location of the club, Bergamo was the epicenter of the dreaded virus in Italy earlier this year, with an average of 40 people dying each day at the height of the pandemic.

Ilicic, who missed the last seven games of the 2019-20 campaign, which included the Champions League quarter-final defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, was not in the right frame of mind to play afterward.

Gomez said the 32-year-old struggled after being diagnosed with Covid-19. The skipper is now excited that he is back with the team describing him as an important player for the side.

“He had the coronavirus and fell into depression. There comes a moment when the head explodes. Luckily he recovered and he’s fine now. He is very important to us,” Gomez said in an interview with TyC Sports.

Papu Gomez confident of finishing his career at Atalanta

32-year-old Gomez joined Atalanta from the Ukrainian side Metalist in 2014. after becoming the club’s captain three years later, he has witnessed a lot of progress with the team that became the highest scoring side in the league.

With three years left on his current deal, the Argentine expects to see out the rest of his playing career with the Serie A outfit.

“I still have three years left on my contract, in February I will turn 33.

“I will surely stay here in Bergamo, we are very comfortable and I will have a position at the club in the future.”

His good form has seen him being invited to the national team again. Although he was an unused substitute for the matches against Ecuador and Bolivia, he is excited to be back in the team since 2017.

Gomez made four appearances for Argentina in 2017 before being reinvited last month by the national team boss Lionel Scaloni called him up for the World Cup qualifying games this month.

“I had not returned for three years, for me it was spectacular to return because it is not easy at my age.

“Obviously I would have loved to go on for a few minutes, but what happened, happened. The game against Ecuador asked for one more player, but the coach chose another.

“I noticed [Lionel] Messi was very happy with this group in the national team. If he is happy, we will all be happy. We know what he experienced in these months at Barcelona, ​​surely he is not comfortable with how the team is playing.”

Speaking on the national team, Gomez said their realistic target at the world cup should be the quarter-finals.

“I think Argentina has the obligation to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup. You cannot demand to be the champions now.

“I won’t pretend that we are Germany, but when you can work three or four years with the same person, things turn out better. Hopefully, this will happen with Scaloni.”