Gomez: Just a brilliant time!
Four years, 174 games, 113 goals -- that is the record of Mario Gomez at FC Bayern. The Germany international striker wore the FCB shirt from 2009 to 2013 winning the league title three times, the DFB Cup twice and the Champions League once during his time in Munich. The high point was the treble in 2013. Now, three and a half years later, the 31 year-old forward returns to the Allianz Arena for the first time.
Gomez visits the German record champions with his current club VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday afternoon (15.30 CET). After playing for Fiorentina and Besiktas he joined the Wolves last summer. Ahead of this weekend's match he spoke to the Bayern Magazine about the situation at VfL and the return to Munich. fcbayern.com brings you extracts from the interview.
**Mario, let's start with a very simple question: Why are VfL struggling this season?
Gomez: "All of us at the club are working on that. We've loads of potential and you can see and feel that at every training session. But to achieve a top performance you need to be right mentally -- at the moment we're unable to show our quality on the pitch. We're not able to get a win, even a lucky one, at the moment and that automatically leads to uncertainty on the pitch and a lack of confidence."
**You've had a busy year: Top goalscorer and champion with Besiktas, then leaving Istanbul due to the tense political situation and returning to the Bundesliga. Why did you move back to Germany?
Gomez: "I had a wonderful time abroad. The experiences in Italy and Turkey were very valuable for me and I'm happy that I decided to move on. In spite of the great success on the pitch for Besiktas last season I made up my mind to return last summer. The Bundesliga is one of the strongest leagues in the world and for me still the most attractive. Those were some of the reasons why I wanted to come back to Germany."
**On Saturday you'll meet up with some of your Germany team-mates in Munich and you'll play at the Allianz Arena for the first time in three and a half years. What does the game at FC Bayern mean to you?
Gomez: "I wouldn't say the Allianz Arena is my ground any more but Munich is definitely my home. And being able to play there against FC Bayern is something very special for me. I had the good fortune to be at this great club and I really, really like looking back on those times. We won everything back then -- Champions League, the league title, DFB Cup. We were at the top of our game and a united and really good group. It was just a brilliant time!"
**You played 174 games FCB and scored a total of 113 goals. In your last match in the Cup Final you scored three goals in the 3-2 win against VfB to seal the treble. What memories of your time in Munich have come back to you in the days before the match?
Gomez: "Hopefully the one or two goals I scored here. (He laughs). But we'll have to wait and see if the fact I know where the goals are helps us."