Germany forward Mario Gomez
breathed a huge sigh of relief after scoring twice against the
Netherlands in his team's Euro 2012 Group B 2-1 victory on
Wednesday, knowing that the nagging criticism that has followed
him for years should finally end.
Gomez, long under fire for shooting blanks at big
tournaments, has notched three goals in two games after also
hitting the target in the Germans' opening win over Portugal.
"After that goal against Portugal I thought things would be
easier and that there would be support for me from all sides,"
the 26-year-old told reporters on Friday. "That was not the
The Germany forward had failed to score at Euro 2008 and the
2010 World Cup and had to carry the tag of under-performer going
into this tournament despite a goal-rich last two seasons for
Even after the win over Portugal there was sharp criticism
at home that overall he was lacking the killer finish needed to
leave his mark on the big stage.
His first goal against Netherlands, however, created by a
lovely piece of skill inside the box, was his answer to the
critics, one of whom accused him of lying around so much "he
would get bedsores".
"There was enormous pressure before the game, just enormous,
and it was extremely difficult for me," he said, adding that he
did not celebrate the goal as he felt more relieved than happy.
"After the first goal, I ran towards this orange wall of
Dutch fans. Then I turned back. I did not celebrate because
maybe it was such a relief. It was not as easy for me as you'd
"I am not interested in being top scorer. I am interested in
winning the title. This tournament is not about Mario Gomez, it
is about the German national team."
The forward also shared Spain striker Fernando Torres's
delight after he scored twice against Ireland on Thursday for
his first tournament goals since 2008.
"I am happy for him. He had a damned difficult time. We are
colleagues and I can imagine what he went through in the past
few months when he was almost not selected," said Gomez.
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