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Mario’s mission

Gomez ready to fight for his place in the team

Mario Gomez is looking ahead to the new season at Bayern with great confidence. Following a middling first term with Germany’s most successful club, the centre-forward is now determined to earn himself regular status in Louis van Gaal’s line-up. “I dreamed for years about being here, and did everything I could to get here. I’m not about to give it all up after twelve months, just because my first season wasn’t perfect,” the player said.

With that statement, the striker put an end to a number of transfer rumours which have surfaced in recent weeks. Gomez is fully and solely committed to Bayern. The 25-year-old also scoffed at rumours he had engaged a personal fitness trainer in order to gain an advantage in the post-World Cup period. “The only fitness coach I have is my girlfriend,” he quipped. Otherwise, he switched off on holiday and made sure he replenished spent energy.

Self-critical analysis

Gomez’ overall aim was to clear his thoughts and regain mental focus, as he expected more of himself last term than he was ultimately able to deliver on the field of play, even though he finished on a respectable 14 goals for the season. “At the beginning, I was scoring goals but playing badly. Then I was playing well but not scoring. And then I picked up an injury,” he summarised self-critically. “So that meant I wasn’t part of it at the decisive phase, and that’s been gnawing away at me.”

Gomez hopes things will be different this time round. “You always get highs and lows in football, and I hope I have all my recent lows behind me now,” he declared. The goal-getter is assured of support from boss Louis van Gaal. “The coach is well-known for his view that every player starts again from nothing, and everyone has the chance to show what he’s made of in pre-season.” Gomez is ready to take up the challenge. “What you can do is give it 100 percent in training and work very hard indeed. And that’s what I’ve always done.”

Enjoying the game

One factor in Mario’s favour is that he now fully understands the club he joined a year ago. “I’m not a new boy any more, and I know how it all works. It’s a very different situation.” Gomez is confident of rediscovering his best form in his second season with the Munich giants. On a scale from one to ten, he says the fun component is back up to ten. And he too is delighted the three-week vacation is now over. “There comes a point where it’s enough,” the model athlete pointed out.