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FEATURE: Atalanta captain Alejandro Gomez has a different design on his armband for every game, from old Playstation consoles to characters from Disney's Frozen... and even the Pope!

Published on: 12 June 2017

For some players, the captain's armband is a badge of honour, an emblem of true leadership qualities and a testament to the loyalty shown to a club.

For others it can prove to be a burden, a heavy responsibility that becomes unbearable under the weight of expectation.

Then there is Alejandro Gomez. 

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For the skipper of Serie A high flyers Atalanta, the armband is a blank canvas.

Since receiving the captaincy for the first time in October this season, Gomez, nicknamed Papu, has fastened several different strips around his left bicep, each with a unique design.

From old gaming consoles to Disney characters, the Argentine has defied convention by decorating them with the ridiculous, and the sublime.

And yet, these armbands represent every quality you could ask for in a captain; from dedication, to loyalty, to respect. To put it plainly, the man wears his heart on his sleeve. 

The 28-year-old led his side out for the first time this season as Atalanta beat Napoli 1-0 on October 2, and a vast array of art has been seen clinging to his left arm ever since. 

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He boasted a Mothers' Day design against Fiorentina two weeks later in homage to his mother, Monica, while that month also saw him don a Halloween themed band in a terrifyingly good display against Genoa. 

He paid tribute to the Chapecoense football team in November, and in their 4-1 win over Chievo on Sunday he dedicated his captaincy to his daughter's second birthday with a host of characters from the Disney movie Frozen joining his little girl on his sleeve.

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Gomez has also had the entire Pro Evolution Soccer Masters League squad for company on his armband, while there have also been manga characters from the series Captain Tsubasa, an ode to the art of Tango, and a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Argentinian independence. 

But while his captain's armband draws plenty of attention, so to do Atalanta. Gian Piero Gasperini's side have been turning heads with their rise up the Serie A table this season, and the currently sit in 5th, just three points off the Champions League spots. 

Gomez's contribution on the pitch has been just as welcome as his eye-catching accessories.

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The attacking midfielder, who moved to Atalanta from Metalist Kharkiv in 2014 after refusing to return to Ukraine following the outbreak of civil war, has been trusted in a central role this season and La Dea have reaped the rewards, with the Argentine netting five times this season, and setting up a further six goals. 

The top half of the table is a dizzying height for a side that have flirted with relegation in recent seasons and have a solitary Coppa Italia from the 1960s in their trophy cabinet. 

Gomez and Co will launch an attempt to add to those bare shelves on Wednesday night when they look to prolong their interest in the cup when they visit Juventus in the last 16.

While a trip to the Juventus Stadium is the most formidable of tasks in Italian football, previous victories this season over Napoli, Inter and Roma are the sign of team more than capable of mixing it with those at the head of the Serie A table.

If success does come Atalanta's way this season, Alejandro Gomez may just need a bigger armband to do his tribute justice.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

 

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