Mario Gomez has revealed he turned down an offer from Real Madrid when he opted to join Fiorentina this summer.
Gomez left Bayern Munich in a €20 million deal in June, and has two goals in two league games as la Viola have won their opening Serie A matches.
The striker -- whose paternal grandparents left Spain to work in Germany during the 1960s -- told kicker that he considered moving to Madrid but in the end had plumped for Italy.
"I was flattered because all my family are Real Madrid fans," he said. "I appreciated their interest, but I told my agent I only wanted to go to Florence."
The Germany international, 28, suggested he had preferred to be assured of a first team spot at Fiorentina than have to compete for a starting berth at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu with Karim Benzema.
"I did not move on to another club of [Bayern's] level," he said. “If I had joined Real, I would have alternated with Benzema."
Benzema has two goals and two assists in his first three Primera Division appearances this season, but has not looked completely comfortable -- and was whistled by fans at the Bernabeu during last weekend's 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.