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Gomez: I feel totally at home in Munich

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Gomez: I feel totally at home in Munich

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:40 pm

Mario Gomez provoked an anxious moment in training on Wednesday, breaking off the session following a crunching challenge with Anatoliy Tymoshchuk. However, the striker completed Thursday's workout with no hint of a problem, and will definitely feature in Saturday's big Bundesliga clash with Bremen. Mario is determined to extend his lead at the top of the scoring chart and help Bayern to a vital win.

In the latest edition of the Bayern Magazin club journal, the Germany international summed up the season so far, and looked ahead to the future - which he would ideally spend entirely with Germany's biggest club. fcbayern.de reproduces extracts from the printed interview.

Interview: Mario Gomez

Bayern Magazin: Mario, you've scored goals galore in recent months, and you've been praised to the skies. Given the situation a year or so ago, did you think that would ever happen here at Bayern?
Mario Gomez: It's hard to say. Obviously, I'd rather hear and read what we're seeing now compared to the reports back then, but I never lost sight of what really mattered during a difficult phase, and I won't do now when I'm on good form. I try and follow a healthy middle way, because it wasn't as bad back then as many people made it out to be. It was the result of a particular set of circumstances, and it's exactly the same now when things are going well.

But you must have been pleased when Ottmar Hitzfeld said you were as important to Bayern as Messi is to Barcelona, and Willy Sagnol describing you as the only Bayern player who can't be replaced.
Of course! Ottmar Hitzfeld is a true football expert, and has been for many years. He's seen so many players at close hand, so when he speaks, you listen. The same goes for Willy. I'm proud people like this are saying what they're saying, because it shows I'm heading in the right direction. But it also says I mustn't stray from this particular path. I aim to maintain this standard and even improve on it.

Given your current strike rate, that won't be easy: you've scored 29 goals in 30 Bundesliga appearances in 2011.
It's true, that's an unbelievably good total - and it's what I'm measured against. If I don't score for a couple of games, people start getting uneasy. But that's the price of success, and I can live with it. My job is to stay fit, and hope I'm spared injury. I've never set goalscoring targets, and I never will. What I've always said is that if I'm fit and playing regularly, I'll score goals.

When you look at an attacking unit comprising Ribéry, Robben, Müller, Kroos and Schweinsteiger, you might say the centre-forward should be scoring goals.
A few goals simply come about because I'm the last man in the chain, for sure. However, being there when the ball arrives is also an attribute. It's something you have to work hard on and learn, and I've done so in recent years.

Coach Jupp Heynckes has been handed a lot of the credit for your current success. What's your relationship with him?
Working with him is very, very pleasant, but just because people say he's a nice guy doesn't mean he simply wanders around clapping people on the back. He regards himself as part of a greater whole, although he's the one who sets the direction, of course. He's very, very demanding on a daily basis, and he's a total professional. But he possesses natural authority, and he doesn't have to back that up with anything forced. Every player respects him and everyone values his work. The team has an outstanding relationship with him.

After your hat-trick against Napoli, Christian Nerlinger spoke of a perfect match. Has there ever been a perfect match in your opinion?
No. The first half against Napoli must've been pretty close, because it couldn't have been much better. But we no longer played well as a team in the second half, and I totally include myself in that. If we'd kept the pace high, we'd definitely have won five or six nil, but as it happened, it was really tight at the end.

You've now been at Bayern two-and-a-half years. Is Munich anything like home for you these days?
Yes, definitely my second home. As a private person, I felt totally at home here right from the start. There's everything I'd want for a wonderful life. I like the local mentality, and there are so many beautiful places in the city. Regardless of what happens in the rest of my playing career, I'd like to stay on and live in Munich.

So we can take it as read that you'll extend your contract, which currently expires in 2013?
There are always two parties involved, but I have no reason to think about any other club. I'll stay here for as long as I'm needed, and I'll do everything in my power to make it as long a time as possible.

It almost sounds like you want to stay at Bayern forever...
Naturally, I don't just want to stay because I like the place so much. The clear priority is football. The quality in the team is very high, even by international standards. In terms of structures and organisation, Bayern are definitely one of the best clubs in the world. As I said: as long as I'm needed, I have no reason to go anywhere else.
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