Mario Gomez says he’s focusing on a spot within the Germany squad on the 2018 World Cup after returning to Stuttgart, the membership the place he started his profession.
Gomez has performed 71 occasions for Germany, scoring 31 targets, and completed high scorer on the European Championship in 2012.
Nevertheless, after struggling at Fiorentina — who he joined in 2013 — he didn’t make the lower for the 2014 World Cup.
Briefly returning to the nationwide crew for Euro 2016, Gomez has fallen behind the likes of Leipzig’s Timo Werner and Bayern’s Sandro Wagner for a spot on the 2018 World Cup, however says he has not given up hope.
“For now, I solely have a look at the following six months,” Gomez instructed StN. “It is an extremely necessary time. Each for VfB and me. I’ve a burning ambition to go to the World Cup.”
— VfB Stuttgart (@VfB) four January 2018
Gomez, 32, returned to Stuttgart from Wolfsburg in December — the membership he left for Bayern Munich in 2009 — because the Bundesliga membership brace for a potential relegation battle within the second half of the season, which will get underway on Jan. 13.
Having solely picked up 17 factors — two greater than Werder Bremen and Hamburg within the backside three — Stuttgart have put their hopes in Gomez to revive an assault which has solely produced 13 targets to this point this season.
“I do know there might be quite a lot of strain,” Gomez instructed Kicker. “However I’ve had it ever since I used to be 18.”
Gomez performed his youth soccer at Stuttgart from the age of 16 and went on to win the Bundesliga in 2007 with the membership — the yr he additionally picked up the German Footballer of the 12 months award.
He scored a complete of 63 targets in 121 Bundesliga outings for Stuttgart from 2004 to 2009, earlier than including an extra 92 for Bayern and Wolfsburg in 160 video games. He netted 16 targets final season.
“I solely scored three targets within the first half of the season final yr,” Gomez added.
“Additionally as a result of there was chaos at Wolfsburg. But, after a superb winter coaching camp, I returned. If setbacks like lacking sitters had thrown me off track in my profession, I might have ended my profession at 19, and by no means had a shot on aim once more.”
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Comply with him on Twitter @uersfeld.