STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Former Germany striker Mario Gómez retired from soccer on Sunday after scoring in his last game for Stuttgart.
Gomez, who turns 35 in July, joked that he was in negotiations with Real Madrid and Barcelona before saying he had fulfilled his final wish. That was to help Stuttgart secure an immediate return to the Bundesliga after one season in the second division.
Stuttgart finished runner-up on Sunday, 10 points behind already promoted Arminia Bielefeld, despite a 3-1 loss at home to Darmstadt.
“It was my last mission for Stuttgart after we messed up last year,” Gómez said, referring to the club’s relegation in 2019.
Gómez was one of the best German forwards of his time, winning the Bundesliga title in 2007 in his first stint at Stuttgart, then two more with Bayern Munich which he joined in 2009. He also won the Champions League in Bayern’s treble-winning season in 2013 before he left for Fiorentina. After two seasons in Italy Gómez joined Besiktas to win the Turkish league title in 2016.