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Gabi’s renewal more important than you think

El capitan is the embodiment of Cholismo and the Atletico way of life

FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Although it had been an open secret for some months, Atletico Madrid last week announced Gabi’s contract extension for one more year. Thus, the captain will wear the rojiblanco jersey at least until 2018, when he will be close to his 35th birthday. Gabriel Fernández is one of biggest representatives of Cholismo and the golden age where the club is currently located and it would be an honor if he could play his last football wearing the jersey of his beloved team.

Gabi is without any doubt the best captain these eyes have seen playing for Atletico. I’m only 26 years old, but I’ve seen plenty of players wearing the armband, too much maybe. Not so long ago, Atleti lived a dark age when it was not so difficult to take up such a big honor - Fernando Torres was awarded the captaincy when he was a teenager. Gabi could not run away from those years when the squad was completely changed every summer. He had to go out like many others and and grow as a footballer and as a leader.

His agent received several offers back in summer 2011, some of them economically or in sporting terms more interesting, but once he received the one coming from Atleti he decided to stop listening and accept immediately. His return raised doubts (forgive us, capitán) and did not engender much enthusiasm, but he has undoubtedly turned the tables. It’s hard to explain in words the pride he makes me feel each time he makes a sprint to press the rival goalkeeper in the 90th minute.

Forgotten by the Spanish national team coaches, no one can explain how a capital player for one of best teams in the world will retire without representing his country in an international match. He has never hidden his desire to wear that shirt and even now, when it is not necessary to be a regular to enter in the calls, they cannot grant it to him.

Gabriel Fernández is not the kind of player who stars in YouTube videos with crazy skills and goals surrounded by horrible electronic music. We can’t see his goal celebrations in video games. Gabriel Fernández is that kind of player who defends his team and his partners with intelligence on and off of the pitch. You just have to remember his performances in the Lisbon and Milan finals to know that Gabi provides his best performances in the biggest occasions. He has promised they are going to keep trying to get that bloody trophy and we never stop believing.