Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mario Gómez

Mario Gómez García (German pronunciation: [ˈmaːʁioː ˈɡɔmɛs]; Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmaɾio ˈɣomeθ]; born 10 July 1985 in Riedlingen) is a German footballer who plays as a striker for FC Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga. Gómez joined Bayern after six years in Stuttgart. The fee was a record for a player transferred in the Bundesliga, estimated to be 30–35 million euro. When Stuttgart became champions in 2006–07, Gómez contributed 14 goals and was elected German footballer of the year.

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 thrashing.

Gómez was named as one of the six strikers in Joachim Löw's 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. 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.

Although being the second choice behind Miroslav Klose as center-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 includes two goals against Austria in Germany's 2–1 away win in the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, netting into the very same goal in which despite good goalscoring opportunities he couldn't score three years earlier during Euro 2008, a performance for which he was criticized by the German media and fans of the Mannschaft. Observers saw him overcome a little trauma and in a spontaneous gesture of relief, he kissed the goalpost after he scored the first goal.

Prior to the Euro 2012 in an 3–3 draw against Ukraine in the opening game at the renewed Olympic Stadion of Kiev – the site of the Euro 2012 final match – Gómez captained Germany for the first time. It was his 50th international cap, and aged 26, he was Germany's oldest player in the starting lineup

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