Mario Gotze - The forgotten 'next big thing'
- The article talks about the meteoric rise and fall of German football's biggest prospect & how there still may be time
25th may 2013, A young German prodigy fresh into his 20s gazed upon the Deutsche David & Goliath as they stood against each other. It was the 2nd coming of German football, Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final held at the new Wembley stadium in London.
The mouth-watering fixture fulfilled its promise as Arjen Robben proved to be decisive for the Bavarians that night.
In the stands, Mario Götze; himself out with an injury witnessed his childhood club waste their chances in the biggest tie in the recent history of the club. Confused, as to how he should react, he seemed emotionless although it was apparent that the loss in a way had reaffirmed his decision of crossing over, of committing football treachery.
Why? Bundesliga domination, Dfb Pokal, the Super Cup & a real shot at European glory, and that's just trophies. He would be under the tutelage of arguably the most innovative tactician in modern football, Josep Guardiola. It was too sweet a deal & Mario packed his bags and was off to Munich. Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Final
12th June 2014, German national team trainer Joachim Low announces the 23-man squad for the upcoming world cup. The no.19 shirt is reserved for one Mario Götze, who after a mediocre season with Bayern Munich still manages to secure a spot in the squad edging out other front-runners.
Germany breeze past the group stage, up next the Algerians pose a tough task for the Die Mannschaft but Manuel Neuer channels his inner Beckenbauer & the world is introduced to its first prominent sweeper-keeper.
They see off an unorganized French side & proceed to the now infamous 7-1 drubbing of the home side Brazil. The final takes place at the historic Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro. After a hard-fought 90 minutes, the match is forced into extra time where both teams look to stand their ground and penalties seem inevitable.
Minute '113 fresh off the bench, Götze controls Andre Schurle's cross from the left flank and dexterously dinks it over Sergio Romero to score one of the most important goals in German history. Hearts are broken, history made, perhaps the prodigal son was back to his best...only time would tell.
21st July 2016, Borussia Dortmund announce the return of their academy product who in the search for glory wandered to pastures new but couldn't live up to the hype after his World Cup heroics in Brazil and is now returning to his home, the Signal Iduna Park.
Götze himself reiterates his desire to win back the love of the BVB faithful & admits that his move to Bayern was a misfire and did more bad than good. After putting pen to paper on a contract that will run till the next euro's, he makes his debut in a 1-0 loss to RB Leipzig.
However, Götze is hailed for his showing & a few days later scores his first goal after his return, as Dortmund make history after earning a record 6-0 victory versus Legia Warszawa.
Present day, Gotze has now completed 2 seasons since his comeback under Thomas Tuchel & Peter Bosz respectively. Its been a tough path for the Memmingen born footballer as we finally learned the cause for his fatigue and weight gain.
"Myopathy" a disease that hampers its host's metabolic system and causes things to slow down, this further explains his inconsistency with Bayern and after his return to Dortmund.
The mysterious disease has a semblance to the one Brazilian starlet Alexandre Pato fell prey to, it caused the Milan man to stop growing & caused an imbalance in his hormones. All things said, we are still not sure if Mario Götze will ever fulfil his earlier promise, as other players of his generation like Neymar, Pogba, Hazard have excelled, there's still much to desired from him. Atalanta v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Europa League
So why an article all about this supposedly failed BVB graduate? Because he remains one of the humblest & hardworking individuals on the scene despite his hardships, Götze isn't one to be shy of his under-performance and is going hammer & tongs at changing the script, hopefully, the Mario Götze on the pitch can match the one-off it.Published 21 Aug 2018, 13:38 IST