Mario Gomez, the German national team footballer striker who was signed by Fiorentina this past summer injured his knee in September during a game against Caligari and has been unable to play since that game. Recently he has started telling his fans and the media that he is healthy and ready to return to the lineup. It is a great thing for a footballer to be confident but until he is able to demonstrate a return to the form that made him one of the most feared strikers in the German Bundesliga there will be a question of whether his presence will change the fortunes of his club team and will he be able to regain his fitness and playing form before the World Cup.
For many observers his return to the pitch in the Fiorentina colors will be interesting because his presence will be unlike his tenure at Bayern Munich where he was one of the best players on the squad. At Fiorentina he is expected to be the best player on the team in every game. A striker who by the time he left Bayern Munich was not in their starting eleven is now expected to be a player who can make a competitive Serie A team much better.
The expectations for Mario Gomez are huge because when a team pays 19 million Euro for a footballer’s services as a striker they are expecting goals and wins. The Fiorentina team is in fifth place in the Serie A, only two points ahead of Verona and one one point behind Inter Milan and they have played since September without their big summer transfer signing. It has been several years since Mario Gomez’s time at VfB Stuttgart that he has been placed in a situation where a team is depending on him to be the difference maker.
Playing for Bayern Munich may have at times been difficult for Mario Gomez because of the team’s high expectations and high scrutiny but it is quite possible that playing in Serie A will represent an even greater challenge because opponents will be focusing on him more than any other player on the team. At stake is not just his reputation as a superior striker in Europe but also his position on the German National Team as a major contributor. There are very few football squads in the world that possess the depth of talent that the German national team has from which to select players. If Mario Gomez does not demonstrate that he is healthy and in good goal scoring form it is very possible that he will see limited action in Brazil during the World Cup and he is fully aware of this reality. Can Mario Gomez return to being a dominant striker who should always be in the starting eleven for almost any team in Europe, in particular his club team and the German National Team or did Bayern Munich know something that other teams in the world did not as to whether Mario Gomez is more a product of the players around him and not the player who makes the other players around him better. The next five months will provide the answer for many critics and for Mario Gomez the time to prove that he is worthy of more first team playing time has arrived.