Mario Gómez García (German pronunciation: [ˈmaːʁi̯oː ˈɡɔmɛs]; born 10 July 1985) is a German professional footballer who plays as a striker for German club VfL Wolfsburg, and the German national team. Gómez joined Fiorentina after spending four seasons with Bayern Munich, which he joined after six years playing for VfB Stuttgart. At the time the fee was a record for a player transferred in the Bundesliga, estimated to be €30–35 million. The fee is currently the third highest, after former Bayern teammates Mario Götze and Javi Martínez, respectively. When Stuttgart became champions in 2006–07, Gómez contributed 14 goals and seven assists at the age of 21 and was selected as German Footballer of the Year.
With Bayern Munich, Gómez was the Bundesliga top scorer in 2011, and led Bayern to the Champions League final, where they lost to Chelsea. That same year he also lead the German National Team to the European Cup semi-final, where they lost to Italy. Despite being the second top goalscorer, behind Fernando Torres, he was subsequently criticized for his style. Additionally, he was then dropped from the German national team squad, not to feature with the team until 2016.
Gómez played for VfB Stuttgart II in the Regionalliga Süd in the 2003–04 and 2004–05 seasons. He scored six goals in 19 appearances during the 2003–04 season and 15 goals in 24 appearances in the 2004–05 season.
On 9 March 2004, Gómez played 10 minutes for VfB Stuttgart in the Champions League first knock-out round against Chelsea and made his debut in the Bundesliga on 8 May, coming on for Imre Szabics in a 2–1 loss to Hamburger SV. These ended up as his only two appearances for the first team during the 2003–04 season. He would go on to make eight league appearances, one German Cup appearance, and one UEFA Cup appearance.
In the 2005–06 season, Gómez joined the first team permanently. He played 30 times in the Bundesliga, scoring six times at this level. His first goal came on 17 September 2005 as the striker scored the winning goal in a 2–1 defeat of 1. FSV Mainz 05. The striker also played five times in the UEFA Cup, scoring twice, and played three times in both the German Cup, and German League Cup.
In the 2006–07 season, the youngster established himself as one of the top scorers in the Bundesliga. He broke his hand, however, on 10 March 2007 and suffered a torn ligament in his left knee. He made his comeback on 12 May 2007 and immediately scored after coming on from the bench. In that game, Stuttgart defeated VfL Bochum (3–2) and went two points clear heading into the Bundesliga's final weekend, where they won at home against Energie Cottbus, thus becoming German champions. Furthermore, Stuttgart also reached final of the DFB-Pokal, where Gómez participated, but Stuttgart lost to 1. FC Nürnberg. He finished the season with 14 goals in 25 league appearances and two goals in five German Cup appearances. After the season, he was named German Footballer of the Year for 2007 and extended his contract at Stuttgart until 2012.
In the 2007–08 season, while the rest of his team struggled to keep performing at their 2006–07 season standards, Gómez remained at an astonishingly high level, scoring 19 goals in 25 appearances, second in the Bundesliga's Top Scorer list, just behind Bayern Munich's Luca Toni, who scored 24 times. In the DFB-Pokal, Gómez was the top scorer, with six goals. Because of his development, many big clubs became interested in the then-23-year-old forward. Gómez gained the nickname "Mr. Zuverlässig" ("Mr. Reliable"), as seen in his second of three goals against Bundesliga rival Werder Bremen (final score 6–3), where he managed to net in a virtually unreachable pass by teammate Yıldıray Baştürk. On 9 May 2009, Gómez hit four goals to inspire Stuttgart to a 4–1 victory over Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg. He also had six goals in three German Cup appearances and three goals in four Champions League appearances.
The 2008–09 season proved to be his last in a Stuttgart uniform. He would transfer to Bayern Munich after the season. During the season, he would score 24 goals in 32 league appearances, three goals in two German Cup appearances, eight goals in 10 UEFA Cup appearances. to bring his totals to 35 goals from 44 appearances in all competitions.
On 26 May 2009, Gómez was eventually transferred to Bayern Munich on a Bundesliga record transfer fee, signing a four-year contract. The amount of the transfer fee varies from 30–35 million euro, depending on different sources. Gómez was not scoring like his usual self in his first season for Bayern, with just 10 league goals and one Champions League goal netted, but in the cup, he was more prolific, with three goals in just four games. Gómez was also short in the assists column, as well. Quite surprisingly, he made an impact as he was to start the majority of games next season for Bayern. Also in his first season, Gómez was teamed up with his German international strike partner Miroslav Klose to give him some first-team experience.
After an erratic first season at Bayern with 10 goals in 29 league appearances, Gómez established himself as a starter during the 2010–11 season (to an extent at the expense of Miroslav Klose and due to an injury sustained by Ivica Olić) and finished as top goalscorer in the Bundesliga with 28 goals. He scored his 100th Bundesliga goal with his third strike in a 1–8 away victory over FC St. Pauli on 7 May 2011, the hat-trick already being his fifth in the Bundesliga in the 2010–11 season, and his sixth overall, adding in his hat-trick against CFR Cluj in the Champions League. Gómez has scored 13 hat-tricks in his Bundesliga career, three with VfB Stuttgart and ten with Bayern. Gómez also netted eight times in the Champions League and finished in second place in the season's top scorers, tied with Samuel Eto'o, although Bayern were eliminated in the Round of 16 by Internazionale. Gómez in all competitions scored 39 goals in his second season with the Bavarian club.
Gómez started the 2011–12 season in similar style towards the previous season and he opened his league account on 20 August 2011 in Bayern's thrashing of Hamburger SV. Seven days later, Gómez scored a hat-trick away to 1. FC Kaiserslautern. On 10 September, Gómez then netted four goals in Bayern's 7–0 rout of SC Freiburg, sealing four straight wins for the Bavarians and a return to the top of the Bundesliga table. On 27 September, the striker netted two first half goals as Bayern defeated Manchester City 2–0 in the Group Stages of the Champions League, a game infamously remembered for which City striker Carlos Tevez reportedly refused to play.
Gómez scored his second brace of the Bundesliga campaign against Hertha BSC when Bayern won 4–0. Gómez then recorded another brace on 29 October when Bayern then defeated 1. FC Nürnberg 4–0. Then, on 11 December 2011, he scored his third brace of the season and sealed Bayern's 2–1 win over southern rivals VfB Stuttgart, his former club. On 2 November 2011, he netted a hat-trick in a Champions League Group Stage game against Italian Serie A club Napoli. Bayern went on to win 3–2. In the DFB-Pokal, Gómez scored just two goals. On 16 December 2011, Gómez scored his 50th goal for the calendar year of 2011 against 1. FC Köln.
On 13 March 2012, the second leg of their Champions League tie against FC Basel, the Munich club overturned their 0–1 away loss as Gómez netted four of Bayern's seven goals, firing the Bavarians through to the quarter-finals 7–1 on aggregate. In the quarter-finals, Bayern faced French Ligue 1 side Olympique de Marseille and in the first leg on 28 March, Gómez fired in his 11th Champions League goal of the campaign in a 2–0 win for the Bavarians.
On 4 April, Gómez signed a new contract with Bayern Munich, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2016. Gómez scored the winning goal in Bayern's 2–1 victory over Real Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final clash; Bayern went on to win the tie 3–1 on penalties after the teams were deadlocked 3–3 on aggregate. On 19 May 2012, he played in the Champions League Final against Chelsea. He failed to find the net in regular time in the game but scored in the penalty shoot-out as Bayern once again fell at the final hurdle, losing 4–3 on penalties after a 1–1 finish. He finished the 2011–12 season with 26 goals in 33 league appearances, two goals in five German Cup appearances, and 13 goals in 14 Champions League appearances.
Gómez came back late to the squad, after having ankle surgery post UEFA Euro 2012. Because of his injury and the stellar performance of Croatian striker Mario Mandžukić at the European Championships, the Croatian was signed from VfL Wolfsburg. The signing relegated Gómez to the bench and Mandžukić hit a run of form that made him the Bundesliga's top scorer.
Gómez returned to action on 20 November 2012 in the club's 1–1 draw with Valencia CF in the Group Stage of the Champions League, coming on as a 79th minute sub for winger Franck Ribéry. The striker scored his first goal within a minute of his Bundesliga season debut, slotting home after good work from Toni Kroos, capping off a 5–0 victory over Hannover 96 on 24 November. On 5 December, Gómez opened the scoring for the hosts in their final group game of the Champions League, a 4–1 defeat of BATE Borisov which secured the Bavarians top spot in the group over Valencia.
Following the winter break, Gómez pushed for a first-team berth, scoring two goals and setting up another as Bayern cruised past Werder Bremen 6–1 on 23 February 2013. The game was coincidentally his manager Jupp Heynckes' 1,000th game as a player and coach in the Bundesliga. The striker was a used substitute against Eintracht Frankfurt on 6 April, as a lone Bastian Schweinsteiger strike confirmed an 11th successive victory and a 23rd national title for the club, Gómez's second with Bayern and third overall.
On 16 April, in the DFB-Pokal semi-final against VfL Wolfsburg, Gómez scored a six-minute hat-trick after being subbed on in the 77th minute, rounding off a comfortable 6–1 victory and securing a spot in the final against southern rivals and former club Stuttgart. In the club's next league match, on 20 April, Bayern managed another 6–1 victory and Gómez recorded a second brace in four days to lift Bayern to a 26th league victory of the campaign, a new Bundesliga record. Gómez led the line in the absence of Mario Mandžukić to good effect, poking home Bayern's second goal in their 4–0 first-leg demolition of FC Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League on 23 April.
Despite missing the better half of the first three months of the campaign, Gómez still managed 11 Bundesliga strikes, placing him as third top-scorer in the league for the club. He made an appearance as a late substitute in Bayern's 2–1 Champions League Final victory over German rivals Borussia Dortmund on 25 May at Wembley Stadium in London. He netted a second-half brace in the DFB-Pokal Final on 1 June as Bayern defeated Gómez's former club Stuttgart 3–2 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. The win secured a 16th DFB-Pokal trophy and an unprecedented league, cup, and European cup treble for the Bavarians. He finished the 2012–13 season with 11 goals in 21 league appearances,
On 6 June 2013, Gómez' consultant Uli Ferber announced that it "is quite clear that he will separate from Bayern" as he had fallen behind Mario Mandžukić in the pecking order for starting striker.
On 8 July 2013, Gómez joined Serie A side Fiorentina by signing a four-year deal, for a fee believed to be around €20 million. He was officially unveiled as a Fiorentina player on 15 July, to a crowd of 20,000 people.
Gómez scored his first two goals for la Viola in a 5–2 defeat of Genoa on 1 September. In the following match, a 1–1 draw with Cagliari, Gómez sustained an injury which kept him out of the team until Fiorentina's match against Internazionale on 15 February 2014.
On 13 March, he scored his first European goal for Fiorentina in a 1–1 draw against Juventus in the first leg of a UEFA Europa League round-of-16 tie. Three days later, he scored his first goal at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in a 3–1 win against Chievo Verona.
On 23 March, he damaged the ligaments in his left knee in a 1–0 win at S.S.C. Napoli and was later ruled out for the remainder of the season by Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Montella. During the 2013–14 season, he scored three goals in nine league appearances and a goal in six Europa League appearances.
Gómez scored twice in Fiorentina's 3–1 win over Atalanta in the last 16 of the Coppa Italia on 21 January 2015, and followed this up with another brace 13 days later in a 2–0 quarter-final win away to Roma. He finished 2014–15 season with four goals in 20 league appearances, four goals in four Coppa Italia, and two goals in eight Europa League appearances.
Loan to Beşiktaş
On 30 July 2015, Gómez agreed to a loan to Turkish club Beşiktaş on a season-long deal, with an option to buy. He made his debut on 16 August in the first game of the season, replacing man of the match Oguzhan Ozyakup for the final 17 minutes of a 5–2 win at Mersin İdmanyurdu; he and fellow new signing Ricardo Quaresma were not match-fit. His first goals came on 13 September, netting both of a 2–0 victory against İstanbul Başakşehir F.K. at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium; two weeks later he added two more in a 3–2 win over another Istanbul rival, Fenerbahçe S.K. Gómez finished his first season with Beşiktaş as the Gol Kralı, the league's top scorer, as the club secured their first league title in seven years. The last of his 26 goals came in a 3–1 home win over Osmanlıspor that sealed the title with a game remaining.
On 20 July 2016 Gómez announced via his Facebook and Twitter accounts that he would not be making his stay with Beşiktaş a permanent one. He cited the tense political climate in Turkey as the overriding factor in his decision to leave the club after the country was rocked by a failed coup d'état in which more than 300 people were killed.
On 17 August 2016, Gómez signed for German club Wolfsburg.
Gómez has both German and Spanish citizenship, but played for all German youth national teams from age 14. He made his debut for the German national team against Switzerland on 7 February 2007 in Düsseldorf. Germany won the match 3–1, with Gómez scoring Germany's second goal. Gómez gained his second cap for Germany, coming on as a substitute for Kevin Kurányi in a Euro 2008 qualifier against San Marino, scoring two goals that contributed to a final 6–0 victory.
After Gómez impressed in pre-tournament friendlies, Joachim Löw called him up to the German squad for Euro 2008. Löw broke up the strike partnership of Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose, with Podolski moving out to the left wing at the expense of talismanic midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and Gómez partnering Klose up front. Unfortunately, he was not able to reproduce his club form and missed several clear-cut chances, including a crucial one in the last group match against Austria, a performance for which he was criticized by the German media and many fans of die Nationalmannschaft. Germany eventually won courtesy of a Michael Ballack free-kick to seal a place in the knock-out stages but Löw dropped Gómez to the bench and reverted to the Podolski–Klose partnership. He was an unused substitute in the quarter-final and semi-final and later came off the bench in the final of Euro 2008 for Miroslav Klose but could not prevent Germany from losing 1–0 to Spain on 29 June.
2010 FIFA World Cup
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 victory.
Gómez was named as one of the six forwards 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 centre-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 included two goals against Austria in Germany's 2–1 away win in the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, netting into the very same goal in which he had been unable to score three years earlier during Euro 2008. In a spontaneous gesture of relief, he kissed the goalpost after he scored the first goal.
Prior to Euro 2012, Gómez captained Germany for the first time in a 3–3 draw against Ukraine in the first match at the renovated Olympic Stadion of Kiev. It was his 50th international cap, and aged 26, he was Germany's oldest player in the starting lineup.
Gómez scored the only, and winning, goal against Portugal in their first group match at Euro 2012. He then scored twice against the Netherlands in Germany's second Group B match, making it three goals in two games. In the end, he became second-best scorer of the tournament, behind Spain's Fernando Torres. Both had three goals and one assist; Torres, however, became top scorer of the tournament because of having played fewer minutes than Gómez.
2014 FIFA World Cup
After missing the majority of the 2013–14 season with a knee injury, Gómez was not included in Joachim Löw's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
UEFA Euro 2016
Gómez was recalled to the Germany squad for friendlies against France and the Netherlands in November 2015. He scored his first international goal in four years in a 2–3 loss to England in Berlin on 26 March 2016.
Style of play
Gómez can shoot with both feet, and is considered to be an aerial threat. His best ability, however, remains his ability to anticipate crosses and passes, and position himself to shoot. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger described him as "a great finisher who is often in the right place to finish off moves." Moreover, his body balance and ability to hold up the ball often creates trouble for defenders. During his time at Bayern, his ability to appear "at the right place at the right time" proved to be one of Bayern's most lethal attacking weapons as Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben could often outrun defenders and provide a cross for Gómez. However, despite his goal-scoring abilities, Gómez is often accused of having limited skills.
Gómez was born in Riedlingen. He was brought up in nearby Unlingen, an Upper Swabian village in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwestern Germany about 100 km south of Stuttgart and 175 km west of Munich. Gómez is of German-Spanish descent — his father, José "Pepe" Gómez García, is Spanish from Albuñán, Granada and his mother, Christel Roth, is German. He has dual citizenship and opted to play for the German national team.
Gómez ended his nine-year relationship with Silvia Meichel on 2 October 2012. Gómez has been dating German model Carina Wanzung since December 2012. They married on 22 July 2016.
- As of 15 May 2016
|VfB Stuttgart II||2003–04||Regionalliga Süd||19||6||—||—||19||6|
|Beşiktaş (loan)||2015–16||Süper Lig||33||26||3||0||5||2||41||28|
- 1. Includes DFB-Pokal, Coppa Italia, and Turkish Cup.
- 2. Includes UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
- 3. Includes German League Cup and German Super Cup.
- As of 2 July 2016
|Germany national team|
- As of match played 2 July 2016. Germany score listed first, score column indicates score after each Gómez goal.
- Bayern Munich
- Bundesliga: 2009–10, 2012–13
- DFB-Pokal: 2009–10, 2012–13
- DFL-Supercup: 2010, 2012
- UEFA Champions League: 2012–13