Gomezmerising!

No other current Bayern star polarises fan opinion more than striker Mario Gomez.

Christened 'Super Mario' early in his career at VfB Stuttgart, his scoring statistics suggest he should aspire to superstar status. His record certainly stacks up against the very best in the modern game - an amazing tally of 119 goals in just 204 Bundesliga games (more than a goal every other game!) with 21 goals for the German national side in 51 appearances.

This potent goal ratio persuaded Bayern to spend over 30 million euros - the largest ever fee for a Bundesliga transfer - to secure his services from VfB Stuttgart in 2009. He went on to win the league and cup double in his first season at Bayern to add to the Bundesliga crown already lifted at Stuttgart.

In 2010 the striker (born to a Spanish father and German mother) suffered a severe downturn in his career at 'FC Hollywood' and found himself out of favour with former coach Louis van Gaal. The hard-nosed Dutch coach was willing to dispense with his services, and a loan move to Premiership giants Liverpool was mooted.

The Bavarian hierarchy stalled on the deal. Gomez stayed and turned his fortunes around. His record now stands at 56 goals in 83 games for the record German champions. Gomez notched 28 goals last season to pick up the Bundesliga top scorer award.

Currently he's at the top of the Bundesliga's scoring charts with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04) - with 18 goals - and is also top scorer in FCB's Champions League campaign with a goal a game in six appearances.

In other footballing countries Gomez would have the media and public drooling over his scoring feats. Certainly a knighthood or peerage would be his for the taking in England!

So why does Mario Gomez often fall foul of the boo-boys, both at his club Bayern Munich and for his country?

Fans often prefer players who show their emotions or appear to put in that extra bit of effort on the pitch - perhaps in the style of Bayern back-up Ivica Olic doing his headless chicken imitation in an attempt to irritate defenders.

This is not Gomez's modus operandi. Critics scoff at his loping, seemingly unbothered, gait. His somewhat laconic body language suggests he wouldn't care to break into a sweat for the cause. The 26 year old's ever changing haircut often catches crowd attention with 60,000 people often happy to mock him over his latest hairstyle.

At Bayern, Gomez plays as the lone forward in trainer's Jupp Heynckes's 4-2-3-1 system, supported by talents such as Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. The 6 foot 3 inch striker can hold up the ball well and link play. He has a fine touch for a big unit and can shoot and finish well with both feet.

He is very much an old-fashioned goal poacher, considered a dying breed by many. Goals are the currency in which these type of striker trade. They are in the side to deliver goals - very much like other goal-scoring dinosaurs of yesteryear such as Michael Owen, Gary Lineker or Filippo Inzaghi. Gomez's goals are rarely a thing of beauty. I have lost count of the number of tap-ins I have seen him score in a red shirt at the Allianz Arena.

He is often better remembered for a glaring miss in Germany's opening Euro 2008 match against Poland and has consistently played second fiddle to Miroslav Klose in the national team.

Gomez summed up certain attributes a goalscorer needs: ''You've got to have a strong character. If you score you're God. If you miss then you need a guide dog!''

Gomez himself is not fazed by his popularity or lack of it: ''We live in an envious society. It's not only about your appearance, but success also matters a great deal. I'm not going to do a press conference and say, ''Hey everybody, I'm actually a really nice person. You've got to do the business on the pitch, then you'll get the fans on your side.''

His Bayern contract expires in June 2013 and, with his Spanish background, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise if clubs of the calibre of Barcelona or Real Madrid came knocking on his door willing to see more of his 'Matator' goal celebrations.


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