Being a midfielder is a difficult job, supporting the attack, but also having to protect the defence. It can be a tireless task.
Serie A has often had some of the best midfielders in the world, from Andrea Pirlo to Zinedine Zidane, and Gennaro Gattuso to Daniele De Rossi. This season, though has seen a rise in the under-appreciated midfield workhorse.
5. Papu Gomez – Atalanta
Few come close to embodying the spirited resolve that has seen Atalanta soar to new heights in Serie A then their talismanic captain.
The diminutive Argentine has been a virtual ever-present for the Orobici including their ill-fated Europa League qualifying rounds and their jaw-dropping Coppa Italia run.
His opening game of the league season held a lot of promise, assisting twice and bagging a brace against Frosinone. His value to the side is reflected in his tendency to see out the ninety minutes; affording him the same kind of stature to Lionel Messi for Barcelona.
While comparisons with arguably the greatest footballer of all time may seem excessive, there are certainly a lot of aspects Messi and Gomez share aside from just their nationality and positioning.
His instinctive style of play has seen him chalk up 13 assists and 10 goals in 45 appearances across all competitions, emerging as one of the players with the most assists in Serie A this campaign.
A cult status and place among the Atalanta Hall of Fame awaits the 31-year-old who has found his own home away from home in Bergamo.