Mario Gómez reveals reason for joining Beşiktaş

Updated: August 10, 2015

The latest addition to the Beşiktaş squad, German international Mario Gómez, has given an exclusive interview to German sports authority BILD this past week. We translated it to English for your convenience:

Bild am Sonntag (BamS):
Mr. Gomez, next Sunday the league starts for you and your new team Beşiktaş with the away match against Mersin Idman Yurdu. Do you really know who the opponent is?

Mario Gomez (30):
“I am honest, without being disrespectful, I really did not know the club. Playing there – on the Mediterranean Coast – shall be brutal, extremly hot, around 40 degrees Celsius and high air humidity. My new teammates already told me that it is not going to be easy.”

What can you tell us about your first day in Istanbul and your new club Beşiktaş?

“Beşiktaş is really a great club here in Turkey. I was not aware of the dimensions. The club reputation is extremly high in Istanbul and people love the club. They told me at the club: “We are like Bayern Münich in Germany.“ But the fans of Fenerbahce and Galatasaray probably are saying the same thing about their clubs (laughs). The people here really love football, they are very kind and obliging in everyday life.”

You had a warm welcome at the airport with a lot of fans waiting for your arrival. Why did the club not introduce you in an official way to the fans?

“I told the officials that I dont want an official introduction, I am a bit superstitious. I had an introduction in front of thousands of fans in the stadium in Florence. That did not bring me any luck and that is why I really can do without it here.”

What are your goals to reach with Beşiktaş?

“Of course it is our, and my personal, goal to win the league title! That is what I came here for and this is not uthopic; rather very realistic. I would never have joined a team in Turkey which only goal is to qualify for the Europe League.”

Did you leave Florence because you were afraid not to play as often as you wished?

“No, I had no such a fear. I also did not leave because I was afraid of the competition. Everything was just a bit deadlocked for me there. Florence just did not give me what I hoped for, from a sportive point of view. Also I couldn’t give back, because of the injuries, what they expected from me. So both sides had a feeling that it would be better to try something differently.”

Many people ara saying that your transfer to the Turkish league was a step backwards…

“I know that the Turkish League does not have the same level as the Bundesliga, or as the Serie A, La Liga or English Premier League. For somebody looking in from the outside, it may be a step backward from Bayern Münich to Fiorentina and now to the Turkish League. Everybody has the right to say their opinion. I am standing 100% behind my decision and I made this decions being perfectly aware of what I was getting in to.”


“I am thirty years old now and I asked myself: „How can I motivate, excite, set myself new targets?“
Maybe I just could have ended my career in Florence, but I did not want that to happen. I still have 3 or 4 good years and next summer there is a great tournament, the European Cup 2016, waiting to be played.”

So you want a comeback in the national team?

“Yes! Euro 2016 next summer is a big personal goal, and I am self-confident enough to reach this goal. I just needed a break, so I can focus on this goal. I wanted to play in a team, where the manager really wanted to have me, a team that plays for the title, a team winning mostly all their games – helping to push my selfconfidence. I just needed this new challenge. I want to recommend myself for the national team by showing a good performance here at Beşiktaş. I don’t want to talk too much about it. The future will show, where the journey goes.”

Did you talk to Joachim Löw about your decission, heading to Beşiktaş?

“No, I just listened to my feelings and did what I thought would be the best for me. I talked with my girlfriend and my family, they told me: “Only you can decide what is best for you, and we will support you in all your decissions.“
Löw will watch my games, and important will be how I present myself. We will play in the Europa League against teams from England, Spain, Germany and Italy. If I play good in those and score my goals, it won’t matter for Löw in which league I play.”

When was the last time u talked to Joachim Löw?

“At a charity match organized by Sami Khadira, about two months ago. But he did not say to me: “Mario, if you score 5 goals in your next match, I will select you for the national team.“ (laughs). He just asked me how I felt and if everything was alright. I know that I always have the chance to be selected as long as Löw is the manager, because he always gives those players a second chance who already have played under him for a long time in the national team. I only need to perform good on club level. And that is what I believe in.”

Have you already handled that you had not been selected for the World Cup squad last summer?

“I am done with that. I do not want to talk about what has happened in the past. I want to talk about what can happen in the future. But to answer your question: It really was the toughest moment in my whole career. But I kind of saw it coming, because I was injured for 7 or 8 months from the last 12 before the World Cup. But if you have been part of the team for the last 7 years and you can not play the World Cup due to an injury, this is really hard.”

Were there any other offers this summer, except the one from Beşiktaş?

“Yes, even from England and Germany. But it was not an option to head back to the Bundesliga. I love Bayern Münich and VfB Stuttgart, both my former clubs. I had such great moments with both of them, so I could not imagine to play for another Bundesliga club.”

And Beşiktaş was very eager to sign you?

“I really realized that they were pushing all their limits to sign me. So I talked to some players who had played in Turkey– not to make a decission – but to collect information. One of them was my friend Roberto Hilbert. I also spoke with some mangers, who had worked in Turkey. There was not one negative comment, really everyone said: “Forget what you think to know or have heard so far, grab this chance and you will be suprised in a positive way.“.”

And are you already suprised in a positive way?

“Of course I have not been here long enough, I can not judge everything by now – especially not the sportive aspect. But I can say one thing for sure: We have optimal conditions within the training centre of Beşiktaş, everything is perfectly organized – actually the typical german way. Even the gras we train on is the same we will have in our stadium, as a wish of our Chairman. The Trainig standard is very high.”

One last question: Are there any wishes left, from a sportive perspective which you still have?

“I still want to win titles, starting this year. And my biggest wish would be to win a title with Germany.”


Source: BILD

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Ender Karakas

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Ender Karakas
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