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‘Great to be a part of it’

Goalscorer Gomez revelling in life at Bayern

Mario Gomez cannot be accused of not trying. Quite the opposite: the Bayern star has been the Bundesliga’s busiest striker since the mid-season break. In the first three games since Christmas, the former Stuttgart sharpshooter fired 15 shots at goal, more than any other player in the German top flight. However, goals themselves were proving elusive.

“I felt jinxed,” he said, “there was always something in the way – the post, the keeper, a leg or something else.” That was until 15 minutes from the end of Saturday’s meeting with Mainz. Miroslav Klose was already warmed up and standing on the touchline ready to replace Gomez, when Philipp Lahm thrust into the box and cut the ball back for Mario, lurking near the penalty spot, to sweep home his side’s second of the afternoon.

“When the ball went in, it was a huge weight off my shoulders,” confessed Gomez, who scored in each of the last five games before the mid-season interval. Lady Luck appeared to have deserted him at the start of the year, and his misfortune initially continued against Mainz.