Now in his second season with Palermo, former Manchester City midfielder Claudio Gomes admits he’s experiencing the best of both worlds.
Long known as a stylish defensive midfielder, Gomes is now establishing himself with the Rosanero after spending four years on the books at City. And significantly his move was a groundbreaker for both clubs. The young Frenchman, now 23, becoming the first City player to move to Palermo after the English giants’ umbrella company, City Football Group (CFG), had bought the club.
“I decided to play for Palermo because I was attracted by the project of the club,” recalled Gomes to Tribalfootball.com, “also the history of the club and I wanted another challenge.
“It’s a real pride to wear the Rosanero jersey and be part of the City Football Group family.”
Indeed, when Gomes cites Palermo’s history, he is talking about one of the great clubs of Italy. The Sicilians, through several different versions, now boast 122 years of existence, with CFG becoming majority shareholders barely a year ago.
This season, under coach Eugenio Corini, Palermo have begun impressively and sit in fifth place on the Serie B table. As Gomes is quick to highlight, Serie B is now as competitive and as cut-throat as it has ever been. With Sampdoria, Parma – plus Palermo and their massive support at the Renzo Barbara – the race for promotion will be a genuine battle.
Gomes, for one agrees, admitting every game offers a new challenge: “Serie B gives you nothing, all the teams in the league are ready, every game is a different challenge, the football is more tactical than the other leagues like the (English) Championship where I played for example.
“I feel that we are in a good shape physically and mentally, the results are there. We’ve started well, but the season is long and we need to stay focused and on the same train together.
“We must focus on being stronger game after game until the end to reach our collective goal.”
For the Rosanero, a return to Serie A is that “collective goal”. But along the way this season, Gomes is aiming to fulfill the potential he showed as a teen with PSG and City.
He added: “My personal goal is to be consistent this season.
“I think it is important for a player to reach that consistency of good performance. Then you can have a stronger impact on the team and on the pitch as well.
“I want to be better than last season and of course try to reach the Serie A.”
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