Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez says the form of German teams in the Champions League shows the Bundesliga is the world’s best competition.
Dortmund were assured of first place in Group D a fortnight ago, Schalke secured top spot in Group B on Tuesday night, and then Bayern beat BATE Borisov 4-1 on Wednesday to finish ahead of Valencia in Group F with 13 points from six games.
"All (three German teams) deserved to win their groups. It’s nice to see that the Bundesliga is alive and catching up with the very best leagues," Gomez was quoted as saying on the UEFA website.
"In terms of strength across the board, I’d even say it’s the best at the moment. The top teams are all performing strongly in Europe."
No German team has won the Champions League since Bayern beat Valencia after penalties in 2000/01, but the nation will be hopeful of European success this term with three teams among the final 16.
On this day, July 10th 2012, we wish Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez a happy 27th birthday. May all your wishes come true on this special day, Mario.
13 March 2012
Mario Gomez scored four goals as Bayern Munich demolished Basel to record the biggest ever win in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Arjen Robben’s crisp finish levelled the tie on aggregate before Thomas Mueller volleyed in at the near post.
Gomez tapped in a third, volleyed a fourth and headed a fifth to complete his fifth hat-trick of the season.
The Germany striker rifled in his fourth before Robben’s low finish completed a historic victory.
Who is Mario Gomez?
- Of German-Spanish descent, he opted to play for Germany at the age of 14.
- Made his Stuttgart debut in 2004 against Chelsea.
- Scored 19 goals in 25 appearances in 2007-08.
- Signed for Bayern Munich in 2009 for a Bundesliga record fee, reportedly 30-35m euros.
- Scored only 10 league goals in his first season at Bayern.
- Only Lionel Messi has scored more goals in the Champions League this season.
While it was a humiliation for the Swiss champions, it was an awesome display of attacking from the hosts just a week after Barcelona hit seven against Bayer Leverkusen at the Nou Camp.
After such a devastating display, Bayern will join Barca as hot favourites to reach the final at the Allianz Arena on 19 May - and Robben is not scared of drawing the big guns.
"To score seven goals in the Champions League speaks for itself," said the former Chelsea and Real Madrid winger.
"Fourteen goals in our last two games after our defeat at Leverkusen speaks volumes for the way we have played.
“We have to stay focused. It would be good to get Barcelona or Real Madrid in the next round, but we’ll take whoever comes.”
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes described his team’s performance as “perfect” and was delighted at his side’s ruthlessness.
"The second and third goals came at a very important moment, psychologically. Altogether, it was the perfect game from us."
The Bundesliga side played with a swagger and tempo that Basel could not live with, outclassing Heiko Vogel’s side from the first minute.
After an early onslaught on the Basel goal, the German side broke the deadlock 11 minutes in when Mueller’s low drive was deflected into the path of Robben, who fired a low shot under Yann Sommer.
Basel, whose impressive first-leg display saw them take a 1-0 to Bavaria, tried to keep Bayern at bay but the home side extended their lead through Mueller, whose diagonal run to the near post was not picked up as he caressed Robben’s cross beyond the visiting goalkeeper.
HITTING THE HEIGHTS
- Bayern’s 7-0 win over Basel is the biggest ever in the knockout phase of the Champions League.
- The biggest win in the Champions League is Liverpool’s 8-0 win over Besiktas in 2007.
- Bayern Munich have scored seven goals in successive matches, beating Hoffenheim 7-1 last weekend.
- Mario Gomez becomes the first German player to score four goals in a Champions League match. It is the ninth time the feat has been achieved - Lionel Messi has done it twice.
A bad first half for the Swiss side became catastrophic moments later when Toni Kroos picked out Holger Badstuber at the far post, and his ball across the face of goal was tapped in by Gomez.
The in-form striker then bagged his second and Bayern’s fourth early in the second half with an improvised finish from Ribery’s cross.
Ribery was just as devastating on the wing as Gomez was in attack, and the Frenchman’s weaving runs and accurate deliveries caused more problems when his cross found Gomez, who powered in an emphatic header.
Bayern led 5-0 at this stage but showed no signs of taking pity on the side that ended Manchester United’s Champions League hopes as the lethal Gomez grabbed his fourth midway through the second half - lashing in to the top corner after more good work by Ribery.
By this stage the records were tumbling, with Gomez becoming the first German player to score four in a Champions League match - only the eighth man to achieve the feat.
Robben capped an imperious display by the Bundesliga side, cutting in from the right to fire a low shot under Sommer and leave Bayern in confident mood ahead of the quarter-final draw on Friday.
Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez is another German striker that is on top form this season. The 26-year-old attacker has scored 22 goals for the Bavarian club between the 15 league appearances for his club and another six in the Champions League as well as one in the German Cup.
“He’s flattering me, of course. No current player stands in comparison with Messi,” Gomez told FIFA’s official website. “He’s unique, and comfortably the best player in the world.”
The 62-year-old heaped praise on the Germany international and believes he is one of the top players in the world at the moment.
The 26-year-old has been sensational in front of goal for the Bavarians this season, and while the former Bayern boss acknowledged the difference in playing styles, he agreed that the striker’s all-round contribution is paramount.
”In principle, of course, it is difficult to compare the three as [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo are individualists who often do things alone and sometimes play off two or three players,” Hitzfeld told TZ.
"However, Gomez is more the executioner but he is world-class. In his category, as top scorer, he need not be fearful of any comparison.
”He is obviously extremely important for Bayern and you could say that Gomez for Bayern is as important as Messi is for Barcelona.
”He not only scores goals, but works for the team, plays a very good pressing game and wins back the ball. He learned this from [Bayern Munich coach] Jupp Heynckes. He has developed incredibly well under him. And you can see how important it is for him that he gets total trust from the coach.”
Gomez has scored 20 times in 18 games for Bayern this season.