Mario Gomez rues Germany omission
Fiorentina striker Mario Gomez insists he will bounce back from the "ugliest" season of his career after he was omitted from Germany's World Cup squad.
• Honigstein: Loew's selection
Gomez has struggled with injuries throughout his debut season in Serie A, playing only 280 minutes since September, and the 28-year-old was left out of Germany's 30-man preliminary World Cup squad on Thursday.
Germany coach Joachim Loew told a news conference in Frankfurt on Thursday that his coaching staff did not believe Gomez would be at full fitness for Brazil, although he stressed that the Bayern Munich striker's Germany career was far from over.
"The ugliest season in my life ends with another setback. Seven months out with a knee injury proved to be just too much. It annoys me endlessly. But I will be back, like so many times in my career."
Gomez said he hoped to see veteran Germany striker Miroslav Klose overtake Brazil legend Ronaldo as the World Cup's all-time leading scorer, with the Lazio man just one goal behind, and added: "Now it's also a fact that I will also not be there when the lads win the cup. I keep my fingers crossed and, from the heart, hope you win the trophy."
Borussia Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is expected to join Barcelona this summer, was another high-profile omission from the squad but accepted the decision.
"Of course, it makes you sad to miss a tournament like this, but I need to respect the coach's decision -- and I do," he said in Bild.
His Gladbach teammate Max Kruse, who missed out despite scoring 12 goals and setting up a further 12 this season, also expressed his disappointment.
"Right now, it is really difficult to find the right words," he wrote on Facebook. "Hours after the broken dream, the pain is still deep. I have given it my all in past few months to fulfil my dream, but such is life."
Kruse added in Bild: "On Tuesday, I was shooting a video for the DFB. He [Loew] told me that it is only for sporting reasons, but I can't understand that."
After all, in the Bundesliga I am the second best German scorer [goals and assists] after Marco Reus, and it is a long time since I overcame my loss of form at the beginning of Rueckrunde [second half of the season]."