VfL Wolfsburg’s Mario Gomez has spoken of his pride at being named the new club captain by head coach Andries Jonker.
The 32-year-old, who joined the Wolves from Turkish side Besiktas in summer 2016, has quickly become a firm fan favourite in Lower Saxony. He also scored 16 Bundesliga goals in 2016/17, including ten in the final 12 games, to help the 2009 champions escape relegation via the play-offs.
“I understand every player when he says it’s a dream to be named captain of your team,” said Gomez to German magazine kicker, while insisting he would have been happy to lead from the front even without the added responsibility of being skipper.
“It’s something very special and it means you’re doing a good job. However, I don’t need to wear the armband as some sort of symbol or recognition. I’ve always had a close relationship with the coaches I’ve played for in my career without being captain."
Watch: Enjoy Wolfsburg’s top 10 goals from 2016/17
Coach Jonker deliberated long and hard over the summer in choosing a successor to the departed Diego Benaglio and is convinced he has made the right decision. “I think the captain should be the driving force and flagship of a club,” believes the Dutchman. “Mario is the best choice, and it wasn’t hard to convince him.”
The Wolves, who face Eintracht Norderstedt in round one of the DFB Cup on Monday and begin the league season at home to Borussia Dortmund a week on Saturday, have also confirmed that Paul Verhaegh and Ignacio Camacho will assist Gomez as second and third captains respectively.