Tuesday February 18 2020
Soler: 'Gomez Atalanta's best player'

Carlos Soler warns Valencia “need to be wary” of Champions League opponents Atalanta. “Papu Gomez is their best player, not just for his dance.”

The first leg in the Round of 16 kicks off on Wednesday at 20.00 GMT.

“Many might’ve thought this was a good draw for us, but Atalanta are a quality team who find the net with many different players,” Soler told Sky Sport Italia.

“They are the most prolific side in Serie A, so we need to be wary. Their real hitman is Duvan Zapata, but he is still recovering from injury. Then there’s Luis Muriel, Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens.

“Papu Gomez is their best player, those who only know him for his dance are really missing out.”

He is referring to the Papu Dance, a single that was released to raise money for charity.

The first leg will be at San Siro, as Atalanta have played all their Champions League home fixtures in Milan due to the stadium in Bergamo not being suited to UEFA football yet.

“I think the decisive leg will be at the Mestalla. Alessandro Florenzi spent many years at Roma, so he will be useful in giving us pointers on facing Atalanta, while I also spoke to Fabian Ruiz at Napoli. He said they are tough, but we have studied them carefully.”

Soler spoke about Valencia’s progress through the group stage, although he only took part in three of their six games.

“I was injured at the start of the season and missed the first two matches. I returned for one of the two games with Lille, then was fully available for the last two fixtures.

“I scored in the 2-2 with Chelsea, which we deserved to win, while we felt confident that we could do it with our win away to Ajax.”

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