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Jul 15, 2013

Viola parade new signing Gomez

Mario Gomez mania hit the city of Florence on Monday as Fiorentina paraded their big summer signing in front of an expectant crowd at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

• Horncastle: Viola press right buttons

Germany striker Gomez, 28, landed in Tuscany on Monday morning on a private jet before undergoing a medical and putting pen to paper on a four-year contract. He then met the media before being paraded in front of the club's fans, who are fostering Scudetto dreams in the wake of his arrival.

With 75 goals in 115 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich, 63 in 121 for Stuttgart, Gomez is a forward who has hit double figures in each of his last seven seasons. The Viola believe they have got the man who can justify a level of optimism last seen when Cesare Prandelli led the club into the Champions League in 2008 and 2009.

Gomez believes he has chosen the right club too after leaving Bayern, whom he describes as "the best club in the world right now".

He added: "I'm very, very proud and happy to be here. It's a very special day for me. I wanted to come here for weeks and today that day has come. I've seen all the commotion in the stadium. It's overwhelming. I'm at a beautiful club and we all now want to do our best."

The Germany forward admitted leaving Bayern would always be a step back having clinched the treble last season, but only a select number of clubs ever came into consideration. Florence was his destination of choice right from the beginning, and he felt that desire was reciprocated.

"I always said that, if I left Germany, I would either go to Italy or Spain," he said. "Over the past few weeks and months, when I realised I would be leaving Bayern, I considered what was best for me and my family. The club worked really hard and put lots of energy into signing me. They kept their word and I kept mine, and I'm very happy to be here.

"I've fulfilled my big dream to win the Champions League and I was open and ready for something new. Fiorentina made it clear they have ambitions in the league and want to take a step forwards. They came fourth last year and want to be even more competitive in Serie A and also in Europe next season."

Gomez repeated that, while it was never a difficult decision to take, new Bayern coach and former Brescia player Pep Guardiola convinced him he was making the right choice.

"I spoke with Pep Guardiola and he told me that the football this team plays is the most beautiful and best and most attacking, and that's why I am here," he said. "I love playing football and that's why I came here. I want to enjoy playing my football and that is what I was offered here, and of course the city is beautiful and Tuscany is also beautiful.

"Football is the most important thing, but my family and I need to be happy too. We had that in Munich, and I think we'll have that here in Florence too."

Gomez will wear the No. 33 shirt for the Viola and is set to form a strike partnership with Italy international Giuseppe Rossi.

"It is not about Gomez or Rossi, but about a group of players all wanting the same thing," he said. "I can't wait to get to know my team-mates better."

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