FC Bayern München may lead Olympique de Marseille 2-0 but Mario Gomez warns there is work to do, while playing down any duel with Lionel Messi for the top scorers' prize.
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It is a fine spring day in Munich on the eve of FC Bayern München's UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Olympique de Marseille but outshining even the sunlight is the beaming smile of Mario Gomez entering the press conference room.
Not only are Bayern, aided by a Gomez goal in France last week, defending a 2-0 lead on Tuesday to move to within one step of a final at their own Fußball Arena München, but at the weekend they moved to within three points of Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, reigniting their treble hopes. For now, though, they are not looking beyond OM.
"We know it could turn out to be quite a difficult game," Gomez said. "So many crazy things have happened in football in the past. We will not try to play for a 0-0. We want to win again – even knowing that OM are a strong team.
"We are expecting a physical game. You can't expect our opponents to play cautiously. I think it will be quite intense, as it was in Marseille. We must show our will to win the game from the first minute.
"The result from the first leg is good, no question. But as we were able to score twice in Marseille, so OM are able to score twice in Munich. So we have to stay focused and play our game to go through to the semi-finals and take the next step towards fulfiling our dream of playing in the final in our own stadium."
In most seasons the 26-year-old's tally of 11 UEFA Champions League goals would leave him clear at the top of the scorers' table, but instead he trails Lionel Messi by one. Not that Gomez feels he is in competition with the FC Barcelona star.
"Of course I want to score more goals in the Champions League," the Germany striker said. "But I never want to compare myself or be compared to Lionel Messi. He is the best in the world, perhaps the best ever. He is completely different from me.
"It is his job to score for Barça, mine is to score for Bayern. I do not have an eye on him. It is not a duel between Messi and Gomez. We both want the maximum for our team – that is what we have in common."