Hi Mario, what household chores are we interrupting you with right now?
Mario Gomez: “We’re taking care of everything in the house that hasn’t been done in recent months. At the moment we’re in the process of decluttering the wardrobes and cellar. There isn’t that much to do, thankfully, because I always sorted a few things out whenever we moved house.”
The public have been told to stay at home and avoid social contact. How are you coping with the situation?
Gomez: “Of course it’s not an easy situation for any of us. We grew up that way and don’t know any different from being able to see our friends and family at any time. Having said that, we’re sticking closely to the guidelines and haven’t met up with anyone in the last few days. We want to play our part in slowing the spread of the virus.”
What’s your daily routine in the Gomez household at the moment?
Gomez: “Despite the current situation, the three of us are trying to enjoy our time together. I’ve obviously never had as much time at home with my son. He’s at an age where he’s learning a lot of new things. It’s a great feeling to be able to witness it all so closely and at first hand. We’ve set up a basketball hoop for him and are playing basketball now. He throws really well, even if he’s struggling a little with the hoop (laughs). Our dog also needs fresh air every day. I go running with him in the forest twice a day.”
What do you make of the situation among the general public? Do you think people have understood now what’s at stake?
Gomez: “I think it’s fascinating and brilliant the way people are following the guidelines, despite everything. You can sense great solidarity and community spirit in our society. We want to overcome this virus together.”
There’s been no team training for a week now. The fitness coaches have given you individual programmes so you can work out at home. How are you keeping fit?
Gomez: “I’m able to incorporate the exercises into my daily routine, as I’m out with the dog twice a day anyway. Our morning walk usually turns into a running session. Interval running was on the agenda on Tuesday, which my dog wasn’t too pleased about (laughs). I usually do the stability and strength exercises in the evening.”
How much do you miss being on the pitch with your teammates?
Gomez: “A lot! I miss the game in general. Playing football is a totally different workout to running in the forest. You need different muscle groups, so it’s almost impossible to replicate. When you train on your own you miss out on exercises specific to football, such as the tackling. That’s why it feels a bit like a winter break, where you always try to maintain your stamina levels.”
One final question: your former teammate Sami Khedira recently tweeted a video of himself playing the piano. Is there a hobby you previously didn’t have time for and that you’re now able to pursue at home?
Gomez: “I need to ask Sami at some point – that video must be fake (smirks). He probably learnt that piano piece off by heart. As I said, I’m trying to enjoy the time with my family and our dog, so there isn’t any time for that sort of thing. It’s not as if I’ll get bored and start playing the flute. Apart from football, the only thing I’m really missing more with every passing day is the urge to see my family and friends and just being able to live a normal life again.”