Former international Mario Gomez has ended his career. He announced this after the last game of the season, at the end of which he saw promotion with VfB Stuttgart.
Mario Gomez fulfilled his last mission with the promotion of the Bundesliga at VfB Stuttgart and ended his career as a professional footballer. “I am grateful for the time at VfB. It has always been my dream to end my career here. It is all the better that it has now happened with this terrific success this year,” said the 34-year-old at Sky on Sunday .
Mario Gomez’s last mission
Despite the 1: 3 against SV Darmstadt 98, the Swabians had made the return to the Bundesliga perfect. “I had a few moments today with a little Pippi in our eyes. We lost, that’s a bit stupid,” said the striker. “But at the end of the day we went up. That was my last mission for VfB after we screwed it up last year. It was my big wish to go with it.”
“He has had a great career. For me, that’s why he’s a part of VfB’s face. Stuttgart will always remember him very positively,” VfB icon Guido Buchwald told t-online.de about Gomez’s departure.
“He was always a very pleasant player: very straight forward, very direct. With a clear opinion and a clear edge. He was always a contact person for me on the pitch. We always met eye to eye,” said former referee Knut Kircher at t-online.de. “Despite all the successes he has achieved, he has always remained down-to-earth. Open to dialogue, always approachable, always fair. Of course there were sometimes differences of opinion – but they are part of it.”
Vehs especially praise for Gomez
Gomez made his Bundesliga debut for VfB on May 8, 2004. With VfB, Gomez was 2007 champion and Germany’s footballer of the year. The then master coach Armin Veh said at the end of his former protégé’s career to t-online.de: “Mario was always down to earth. He is a guy, a really intelligent guy. He is and was a character-perfect boy, then as now.” At first he had a little phlegm. “But he quickly put that down and that’s why he chose this great path,” continues Veh.
Gomez also won the championship cup and the DFB Cup twice with FC Bayern, and even the Champions League in 2013. He scored 170 goals in 328 Bundesliga games, becoming champion and top scorer with Besiktas Istanbul in Turkey. Only his time in the national team remained uncrowned. Of all people, Gomez missed the successful World Cup 2014 because he hadn’t got fit in time.
Ex-teammate Beck: “Nobody has to worry about Mario”
“It has always been my concern as a player to show people that there is still a certain romance in football for me. For me, the romance was to stop here where it all started,” said Gomez.
How things will continue for Gomez is still open. However, his former teammate Andreas Beck is not worried about the future of the VfB legend. “When one door closes, five or six more open. The ‘Gomez brand’ is incredibly exciting. No one has to worry about Mario. He has always been one who has looked outside the box.”
Buchwald is a little more specific: “I can very well imagine that he will occupy an important position at VfB in the coming years. He has a huge experience, he knows the soccer business both internationally and nationally and has excellent contacts.” Kircher also takes this notch: “He was a guy with a clear opinion who did football very well. He would certainly do VfB good in the future too.”