Mario Gómez

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Mario Gómez
Mario Gómez, Germany national football team (07).jpg
Gómez in 2011.
Personal information
Full name Mario Gómez García[1]
Date of birth (1985-07-10) 10 July 1985 (age 29)
Place of birth Riedlingen, West Germany
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Fiorentina
Number 33
Youth career
1990–1998 SV Unlingen
1998–2000 FV Bad Saulgau
2000–2001 SSV Ulm 1846
2001–2003 VfB Stuttgart
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2005 VfB Stuttgart II 43 (21)
2003–2009 VfB Stuttgart 121 (63)
2009–2013 Bayern Munich 115 (75)
2013– Fiorentina 19 (4)
National team
1999 Germany U15 3 (1)
2000–2001 Germany U17 14 (5)
2002 Germany U18 4 (0)
2002–2003 Germany U19 19 (11)
2004 Germany U20 8 (2)
2005–2006 Germany U21 9 (1)
2005 Germany Team 2006 2 (1)
2007– Germany 60 (25)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 December 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 September 2014
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Gómez and the second or maternal family name is García.

Mario Gómez García (German pronunciation: [ˈmaːʁioː ˈɡɔmɛs]; born 10 July 1985) is a German footballer who plays as a striker for Fiorentina in the Serie A and the German national team. Gómez joined Fiorentina after spending four seasons with Bayern Munich, which he joined after six years playing for VfB Stuttgart. The fee was a record for a player transferred in the Bundesliga, estimated to be €30–35 million, surpassing previous holder Márcio Amoroso. The fee is currently the third highest, after former Bayern teammates Mario Götze and Javi Martínez, respectively.[2][3] When Stuttgart became champions in 2006–07, Gómez contributed 14 goals and seven assists at the age of 21 and was selected as German Footballer of the Year.

Club career[edit]

Stuttgart[edit]

Gómez celebrates winning the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart in 2007

On 9 March 2004, Gómez played 10 minutes for VfB Stuttgart in the Champions League first knock-out round against Chelsea[4] and made his debut in the Bundesliga on 8 May, coming on for Imre Szabics in a 2–1 loss to Hamburger SV.[5]

In the 2004–05 season, playing for Stuttgart's team in the Regionalliga Süd (Regional League South, then part of the third tier of German football after the national team and the Bundesliga), he scored 15 times in 24 games and made eight first-team appearances throughout the season.

In the 2005–06 season, Gómez joined the first team permanently. He played 30 times in the Bundesliga, scoring six times at this level. His first goal came on 17 September 2005 as the striker scored the winning goal in a 2–1 defeat of 1. FSV Mainz 05.[6] The striker also played five times in the UEFA Cup, scoring twice, and played three times in the DFB-Pokal.

In the 2006–07 season, the youngster established himself as one of the top scorers in the Bundesliga. He broke his hand, however, on 10 March 2007 and suffered a torn ligament in his left knee. He made his comeback on 12 May 2007 and immediately scored after coming on from the bench. In that game, Stuttgart defeated VfL Bochum (3–2) and went two points clear heading into the Bundesliga's final weekend, where they won at home against Energie Cottbus, thus becoming German champions. Furthermore, Stuttgart also reached final of the DFB-Pokal, where Gómez participated, but Stuttgart lost to 1. FC Nürnberg. After the season, he was named German Footballer of the Year for 2007[7] and extended his contract at Stuttgart until 2012.[8]

In the 2007–08 season, while the rest of his team struggled to keep performing at their 2006–07 season standards, Gómez remained at an astonishingly high level, scoring 19 goals in 25 appearances, second in the Bundesliga's Top Scorer list, just behind Bayern Munich's Luca Toni, who scored 24 times. In the DFB-Pokal, Gómez was the top scorer, with six goals.[9] Because of his development, many big clubs became interested in the then-23-year-old forward. Gómez gained the nickname "Mr. Zuverlässig" ("Mr. Reliable"), as seen in his second of three goals against Bundesliga rival Werder Bremen (final score 6–3), where he managed to net in a virtually unreachable pass by teammate Yıldıray Baştürk. On 9 May 2009, Gómez hit four goals to inspire Stuttgart to a 4–1 victory over Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg.[10]

Bayern Munich[edit]

2009–2011[edit]

On 26 May 2009, Gómez was eventually transferred to Bayern Munich on a Bundesliga record transfer fee, signing a four-year contract. The amount of the transfer fee varies from 30–35 million euro, depending on different sources.[11][12][13] Gómez was not scoring like his usual self in his first season for Bayern, with just 10 goals netted, but in the cup, he was more prolific, with three goals in just four games. Gómez was also short in the assists column, as well. Quite surprisingly, he made an impact as he was to start the majority of games next season for Bayern. Also in his first season, Gómez was teamed up with his German international strike partner Miroslav Klose to give him some first-team experience.

After an erratic first season at Bayern with 10 goals in 29 league appearances,[14] Gómez established himself as a starter during the 2010–11 season (to an extent at the expense of Miroslav Klose and due to an injury sustained by Ivica Olić) and finished as top goalscorer in the Bundesliga with 28 goals.[15] He scored his 100th Bundesliga goal with his third strike in a 1–8 away victory over FC St. Pauli on 7 May 2011,[16] the hat-trick already being his fifth in the Bundesliga in the 2010–11 season, and his sixth overall, adding in his hat-trick against CFR Cluj in the Champions League. Gómez has scored 13 hat-tricks in his Bundesliga career, three with VfB Stuttgart and ten with Bayern. Gómez also netted eight times in the Champions League and finished in second place in the season's top scorers, tied with Samuel Eto'o,[17] although Bayern were eliminated in the Round of 16 by Internazionale. Gómez in all competitions scored 39 goals in his second season with the Bavarian club.[18]

2011–12 season[edit]

Gómez started the 2011–12 season in similar style towards the previous season and he opened his league account on 20 August 2011 in Bayern's thrashing of Hamburger SV.[19] Seven days later, Gómez scored a hat-trick away to 1. FC Kaiserslautern.[20] On 10 September, Gómez then netted four goals in Bayern's 7–0 rout of SC Freiburg, sealing four straight wins for the Bavarians and a return to the top of the Bundesliga table.[21] On 27 September, the striker netted two first half goals as Bayern defeated Manchester City 2–0 in the Group Stages of the Champions League, a game infamously remembered for which City striker Carlos Tévez reportedly refused to play.[22]

Gómez after Bayern Munich's defeat against Chelsea in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final

Gómez scored his second brace of the Bundesliga campaign against Hertha BSC when Bayern won 4–0. Gómez then recorded another brace on 29 October when Bayern then defeated 1. FC Nürnberg 4–0. Then, on 11 December 2011, he scored his third brace of the season and sealed Bayern's 2–1 win over southern rivals VfB Stuttgart, his former club.[23] On 2 November 2011, he netted a hat-trick in a Champions League Group Stage game against Italian Serie A club Napoli. Bayern went on to win 3–2. In the DFB-Pokal, Gómez scored just two goals. On 16 December 2011, Gómez scored his 50th goal for the calendar year of 2011 against 1. FC Köln.

On 13 March 2012, the second leg of their Champions League tie against FC Basel, the Munich club overturned their 0–1 away loss as Gómez netted four of Bayern's seven goals, firing the Bavarians through to the quarter-finals 7–1 on aggregate.[24] In the quarter-finals, Bayern faced French Ligue 1 side Olympique de Marseille and in the first leg on 28 March,[25] Gómez fired in his 11th Champions League goal of the campaign in a 2–0 win for the Bavarians.[26]

On 4 April, Gómez signed a new contract with Bayern Munich, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2016.[27][28] Gómez scored the winning goal in Bayern's 2–1 victory over Real Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final clash;[29] Bayern went on to win the tie 3–1[30] on penalties after the teams were deadlocked 3–3 on aggregate.[31] On 19 May 2012, he played in the Champions League Final against Chelsea. He failed to find the net in regular time in the game but scored in the penalty shoot-out as Bayern once again fell at the final hurdle, losing 4–3 on penalties after a 1–1 finish.[32]

2012–13 season[edit]

Gómez came back late to the squad, after having ankle surgery post UEFA Euro 2012.[33] Because of his injury and the stellar performance of Croatian striker Mario Mandžukić at the European Championships, the Croatian was signed from VfL Wolfsburg.[34] The signing relegated Gómez to the bench and Mandžukić hit a run of form that made him the Bundesliga's top scorer.[35]

Gómez returned to action on 20 November 2012 in the club's 1–1 draw with Valencia CF in the Group Stage of the Champions League, coming on as a 79th minute sub for winger Franck Ribéry.[36] The striker scored his first goal within a minute of his Bundesliga season debut, slotting home after good work from Toni Kroos, capping off a 5–0 victory over Hannover 96 on 24 November.[37] On 5 December, Gómez opened the scoring for the hosts in their final group game of the Champions League, a 5–1 defeat of BATE Borisov which secured the Bavarians top spot in the group over Valencia.[38]

Following the winter break, Gómez pushed for a first-team berth, scoring two goals and setting up another as Bayern cruised past Werder Bremen 6–1 on 23 February 2013. The game was coincidentally his manager Jupp Heynckes' 1,000th game as a player and coach in the Bundesliga.[39] The striker was a used substitute against Eintracht Frankfurt on 6 April, as a lone Bastian Schweinsteiger strike confirmed an 11th successive victory and a 23rd national title for the club, Gómez's second with Bayern and third overall.[40]

On 16 April, in the DFB-Pokal semi-final against VfL Wolfsburg, Gómez scored a six minute hat-trick after being subbed on in the 77th minute, rounding off a comfortable 6–1 victory and securing a spot in the final against southern rivals and former club Stuttgart.[41] In the club's next league match, on 20 April, Bayern managed another 6–1 victory and Gómez recorded a second brace in four days to lift Bayern to a 26th league victory of the campaign, a new Bundesliga record.[42] Gómez led the line in the absence of Mario Mandžukić to good effect, poking home Bayern's second goal in their 4–0 first-leg demolition of FC Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League on 23 April.[43]

Despite missing the better half of the first three months of the campaign, Gómez still managed 11 Bundesliga strikes, placing him as third top-scorer in the league for the club. He made an appearance as a late substitute in Bayern's 2–1 Champions League Final victory over German rivals Borussia Dortmund on 25 May at Wembley Stadium in London.[44] He netted a second-half brace in the DFB-Pokal Final on 1 June as Bayern defeated Gómez's former club Stuttgart 3–2 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.[45] The win secured a 16th DFB-Pokal trophy and an unprecedented league, cup, and European cup treble for the Bavarians.[46]

On 6 June 2013, Gómez' consultant Uli Ferber announced that it "is quite clear that he will separate from Bayern" as he had fallen behind Mario Mandžukić in the pecking order for starting striker.[47]

Fiorentina[edit]

On 8 July 2013, Gómez joined Serie A side Fiorentina by signing a four-year deal, for a fee believed to be around €20 million.[48][49] He was officially unveiled as a Fiorentina player on 15 July, to a crowd of 20,000 people.[50]

Gómez scored his first two goals for la Viola in a 5–2 defeat of Genoa on 1 September 2013.[51] In the following match, a 1–1 draw with Calgliari, Gómez sustained an injury which kept him out of the team until Fiorentina's match against Internazionale on 15 February 2014.[52]

On 13 March, he scored his first European goal for Fiorentina in a 1–1 draw against Juventus in the first leg of a UEFA Europa League round-of-16 tie. Three days later, he scored his first goal at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in a 3–1 win against Chievo Verona.[53]

On 23 March, he damaged the ligaments in his left knee in a 1–0 win at S.S.C. Napoli and was later ruled out for the remainder of the season by Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Montella.[54]

International career[edit]

Gómez playing for Germany in 2011

Gómez has both German and Spanish citizenship, but played for all German youth national teams from age 17. He made his debut for the German national team against Switzerland on 7 February 2007 in Düsseldorf. Germany won the match 3–1, with Gómez scoring Germany's second goal.[55] Gómez gained his second cap for Germany, coming on as a substitute for Kevin Kurányi in a Euro 2008 qualifier against San Marino, scoring two goals that contributed to a final 6–0 victory.[56]

Euro 2008[edit]

After Gómez impressed in pre-tournament friendlies, Joachim Löw called him up to the German squad for Euro 2008.[57] Löw broke up the strike partnership of Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose, with Podolski moving out to the left wing at the expense of talismanic midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and Gómez partnering Klose up front. Unfortunately, he was not able to reproduce his club form and missed several clear-cut chances, including a crucial one in the last group match against Austria, a performance for which he was criticized by the German media and many fans of die Nationalmannschaft. Germany eventually won courtesy of a Michael Ballack free-kick to seal a place in the knock-out stages but Löw dropped Gómez to the bench and reverted to the Podolski–Klose partnership.[58] He was an unused substitute in the quarter-final and semi-final and later came off the bench in the final of Euro 2008 for Miroslav Klose but could not prevent Germany from losing 1–0 to Spain on 29 June.[59]

2010 FIFA World Cup[edit]

In a friendly match against the United Arab Emirates played on 2 June 2009, Gómez netted four goals, ending his 15-game goal drought for the national team, in Germany's 7–2 victory.[60]

Gómez was named as one of the six forwards in Joachim Löw's 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.[61] He featured in four out of seven German matches at the World Cup, all from the substitutes bench, against Australia, replacing Mesut Özil in the 73rd minute; Serbia, coming on for left back Holger Badstuber in the 77th minute; England, coming on for fellow forward Miroslav Klose in the 72nd minute; and Spain, replacing defensive midfielder Sami Khedira on 80 minutes. Again he did not score a goal at a major tournament.[62]

Euro 2012[edit]

Gómez surrounded by Austrian defenders in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualification match

Although being the second choice behind Miroslav Klose as centre-forward during Germany's qualification for Euro 2012, Gómez played regularly and contributed goals against every opponent of that campaign: Kazakhstan, Austria, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Belgium. This included two goals against Austria in Germany's 2–1 away win in the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, netting into the very same goal in which he had been unable to score three years earlier during Euro 2008. In a spontaneous gesture of relief, he kissed the goalpost after he scored the first goal.[63]

Prior to Euro 2012, Gómez captained Germany for the first time in a 3–3 draw against Ukraine in the first match at the renovated Olympic Stadion of Kiev.[64] It was his 50th international cap, and aged 26, he was Germany's oldest player in the starting lineup.[65]

Gómez scored the only, and winning, goal against Portugal in their first group match at Euro 2012.[66] He then scored twice against the Netherlands in Germany's second Group B match, making it three goals in two games.[67] In the end, he became second-best scorer of the tournament, behind Spain's Fernando Torres. Both had three goals and one assist; Torres, however, became top scorer of the tournament because of having played fewer minutes than Gómez.[68]

2014 FIFA World Cup[edit]

After missing the majority of the 2013–14 season with a knee injury, Gómez was not included in Joachim Löw's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[69]

Style of play[edit]

Gómez can shoot with both feet, and is considered to be an aerial threat. His best ability, however, remains his ability to anticipate crosses and passes, and position himself to shoot. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger described him as "a great finisher who is often in the right place to finish off moves."[70] Moreover, his body balance and ability to hold up the ball often creates trouble for defenders. During his time at Bayern, his ability to appear "at the right place at the right time" proved to be one of Bayern's most lethal attacking weapons as Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben could often outrun defenders and provide a cross for Gómez.

Career statistics[edit]

Club statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Other Total Ref.
Club League Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Germany League DFB-Pokal DFB-Ligapokal Europe1 Other2 Total
VfB Stuttgart II Regionalliga Süd 2003–04 19 6 19 6 [71]
VfB Stuttgart Bundesliga 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
2004–05 8 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 10 0 [72]
VfB Stuttgart II Regionalliga Süd 24 15 24 15
VfB Stuttgart Bundesliga 2005–06 30 6 0 0 3 0 5 2 38 8 [73]
2006–07 25 14 5 2 30 16 [74]
2007–08 25 19 3 6 0 0 4 3 32 28 [75]
2008–09 32 24 2 3 0 0 10 8 44 35 [76]
VfB Stuttgart totals 121 63 11 11 3 0 21 13 156 87
VfB Stuttgart II totals 43 21 43 21
Bayern Munich Bundesliga 2009–10 29 10 4 3 12 1 45 14 [77]
2010–11 32 28 5 3 8 8 0 0 45 39 [78]
2011–12 33 26 5 2 14 13 52 41 [79]
2012–13 21 11 4 6 7 2 0 0 32 19 [80]
Bayern Munich totals 115 75 18 14 41 24 0 0 174 113
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe3 Other Total Ref.
Fiorentina Serie A 2013–14 9 3 0 0 6 1 15 4 [81]
2014–15 10 1 0 0 3 0 13 1 [82]
Fiorentina totals 19 4 0 0 9 1 28 5
Career totals 298 163 29 25 3 0 71 38 0 0 401 226
Last updated: 21 December 2014.

International goals[edit]

Scores and results table. Germany's goal tally first:
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 7 February 2007 LTU Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany  Switzerland 2–0 3–1 Friendly
2. 2 June 2007 Frankenstadion, Nuremberg, Germany  San Marino 4–0 6–0 UEFA Euro 2008 Qualification
3. 5–0
4. 6 February 2008 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria  Austria 3–0 3–0 Friendly
5. 26 March 2008 St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland  Switzerland 2–0 4–0 Friendly
6. 3–0
7. 2 June 2009 Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  United Arab Emirates 2–0 7–2 Friendly
8. 4–0
9. 5–0
10. 7–2
11. 5 September 2009 BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany  South Africa 1–0 2–0 Friendly
12. 29 May 2010 Stadium Puskás Ferenc, Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 2–0 3–0 Friendly
13. 11 August 2010 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark  Denmark 1–0 2–2 Friendly
14. 12 October 2010 Astana Arena, Astana, Kazakhstan  Kazakhstan 2–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
15. 29 March 2011 Borussia-Park, Mönchengladbach, Germany  Australia 1–0 1–2 Friendly
16. 29 May 2011 Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Sinsheim, Germany  Uruguay 1–0 2–1 Friendly
17. 3 June 2011 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria  Austria 1–0 2–1 UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
18. 2–1
19. 7 June 2011 Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan  Azerbaijan 2–0 3–1 UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
20. 7 October 2011 Turk Telekom Arena, Istanbul, Turkey  Turkey 1–0 3–1 UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
21. 11 October 2011 Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany  Belgium 3–0 3–1 UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification
22. 31 May 2012 Zentralstadion, Leipzig, Germany  Israel 1–0 2–0 Friendly
23. 9 June 2012 Arena Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine  Portugal 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2012
24. 13 June 2012 Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv, Ukraine  Netherlands 1–0 2–1 UEFA Euro 2012
25. 2–0

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Stuttgart
Bayern Munich

National team[edit]

Germany

Individual[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Gómez was born in Riedlingen. He was raised in nearby Unlingen, an Upper Swabian village in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwestern Germany about 100 km south of Stuttgart and 175 km west of Munich. Gómez is of German-Spanish descent — his father, José "Pepe" Gómez García, is Spanish from Albuñán, Granada and his mother, Christel Roth, is German. He has dual citizenship and opted to play for the German national team. His first appearance for the team was in February 2007 against Switzerland and he has been called up regularly since.

Gómez is notable as being outspoken about social matters. For example, regarding homosexuality in football, he has stated that he believes gay players should be open about their sexuality and thinks that "they would play as if they had been liberated."[83] He also stated that he would like a "radical rethink" about homosexuality in football.[83]

Gómez ended his nine-year relationship with Silvia Meichel on 2 October 2012.[84] Gómez has been dating German model Carina Wanzung since December 2012.[85]

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