Germany striker Mario Gomez issues riposte to critics of his work-rate


Mario Gomez has hit back at criticism of his performance in Germany's 1-0 victory over Portugal in their opening game of Euro 2012.

The striker, who headed the game's only goal moments before he was due to be replaced by Miroslav Klose, was criticised for his workrate by former Germany international Mehmet Scholl.

Scholl, who was working as a pundit for a German broadcaster, said: "If he did much, much more work, he would get more chances and score more goals."

When asked about the comments, Gomez said: "With Mehmet and me, there is a story there.

"Mehmet spoke to me before at the Oktoberfest. He told me: 'I know what you think about me. Since I have been a pundit you don't think much of me.' He has already said to me that I am not fulfilling my potential and wants to bring it out of me. And I take that on board. He is a coach, you can learn a lot from coaches.

"I have been the most successful striker in Germany over the last five or six years, and after Lionel Messi scored the most goals in the Champions League this year. I would like to know why I should change."

Gomez scored 12 goals in last season's Champions League,two behind Messi, and scored 41 goals in all competitions for Bayern.

Scholl, who spent 15 years at Bayern as a player and won 36 caps for Germany, insisted his comments were not personal. He said: "There is an impression forming that I have something against Gomez. But that is absolutely not the case. I am of this team and Gomez is a part of it."

Franz Beckenbauer claimed Joachim Löw's Germany played "like men" against the Portuguese, and said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defender Mats Hummels and midfielder Mesut Özil had been key figures.

Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup as a player and manager, said: "That was no magic trick, that was real man's football. With tackles, with passion, with hunger for the fight. That was always the basis of all Germany's European and world titles. Otherwise you win nothing."

Beckenbauer added that Neuer was on the way to becoming the best goalkeeper in the world and that Özil was the most eye-catching German attacker. He added: "Even more important is that Joachim Löw has seen that he can rely on every player."

Next up for Germany is a Netherlands side looking to bounce back from the shock defeat by Denmark. Beckenbauer said: "Against us they are fighting for survival. Against the strong Portuguese it was hard.The match will be super hard for Germany."

Löw admitted he could make changes to his side for the Netherlands game.

"I am not one of those who always says 'never change a winning team'. It is possible that there could be changes to the team."

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