Munich - Despite having roared at the top of their voices four times already on Saturday afternoon, the FC Bayern Munich faithful saved one giant breath for the 66th minute - the moment Mario Gomez made his long-awaited Bundesliga return after three and a half months on the sidelines.
Just 26 seconds later and the Germany striker had them cheering again as he scored with virtually his first touch against Hannover 96. The goal clearly meant a lot to the 27-year-old, as he told the media in the post-match mixed zone...
Question: Mario Gomez, what was is like scoring Bayern's fifth against Hannover?
Mario Gomez: It was an explosion of emotions - difficult to describe, really. I remembered the three and a half months in rehab which is why, immediately after scoring, I thought of our doctor and the physios. I'd been getting on their nerves for the last 15 weeks and have much to thank them for. [The goal] wasn't so important to the team, but a beautiful moment for me as I'd never been injured for such a long time before.
Question: You seemed extremely motivated when you stepped on the pitch...
Gomez: That's likely to be the impression as I scored seconds after coming on, but I just tried to do my best - like I always do and also did in the Champions League on Tuesday [where Gomez came on late against Valencia CF]. Things worked out quite well. We were 4-0 up when I was introduced, the team played incredibly well against a decent side and that made it easier for me. Mario [Mandzukic]'s efforts had worn their defenders out and I was the one who benefitted.
Question: After such a great comeback we have to ask: When will you return to the starting eleven?
Gomez: I don't know; and it doesn't matter.
Question: Is it not important?
Gomez: No, it really isn't.
Question: Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said in the pre-match press conference that he could see also himself playing two strikers rather than one - is that a system you fancy?
Gomez: He told us likewise. It's one of many options, nothing more or less. I want us to be successful this year no matter which system we play.
Question: Do you believe the fierce competition between the three strikers has improved Bayern's performances?
Gomez: Us players are rather relaxed about the subject, unlike the media. Mario has been doing great, so has Claudio [Pizarro]. I was sidelined for a long time and now I'll be giving my all too. It's good for both the team and the coach as it gives him several options. It's all about the team's success after two years without a title - we want to win the Bundesliga. We're heading in the right direction, but then again we were last year [at this stage]. We need to keep it together this season.
Question: How important was it to win after drawing with both 1. FC Nuremberg and Valencia in the last two games?
Gomez: We responded well to all the discussions. We weren't satisfied with the two matches ourselves and wanted to show a positive reaction, which we did in perfect style.
Question: You're playing away to SC Freiburg before hosting champions Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's crunch encounter. Do you fear the team might take the Freiburg fixture too light-heartedly?
Gomez: It's crucial for us to win there, but it will be extremely difficult. Their approach, particularly at home, is very compact and aggressive. All we're concentrating on is this match. I don't care about Saturday at the moment.
Tim Tonner reporting from the Allianz Arena