Opinion: Mario Gotze and the struggle to rejuvenate his career
Back in 2014, Mario Gotze was the hero of Germany after scoring the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina. 4 years later, his career is in danger.
FC Bayern Munich bought him from Dortmund for €37 million just one year before he scored a dream goal in the final of the 2014 World Cup. His adventure at the Allianz Arena was not a successful one.
It was more of a misunderstanding between the German Messi and FC Bayern Munich. However, he re-signed for Dortmund in 2016, three years after he went to Munich. But even at 'home', he has not managed to pin a place in the starting line-up so far.
No doubt, Gotze's form has stalled since he scored the winning goal in the World Cup final against Argentina back in 2014. He had to recover from a metabolic disorder in 2017, and since then he has tried to restart his career unsuccessfully.
His Coach Lucien Favre has not allowed him play yet in the Bundesliga and has made it clear that Mario Goetze has to fight for first-team football at Borussia Dortmund this season.
"I think it depends on our system," Lucien Favre told a news conference. "I said that it would take time for us to find our best team and our best system. There are a lot of tactical decisions to be made".
"We have to tell the truth. Mario can play in a central position. He can play in our 4-3-3 system. You have to play athletically and with a lot of dedication".
"Against Leipzig and Hannover, we played with three players in central midfield. Mario can play in one of those positions, but we have many players that can play there".
One person who has come down hard on the player is the German Legend Lothar Matthaus, who is advising him to change club if he wants to play football again.
"His form, which he had before the 2014 World Cup and included his winning goal in the final, is behind him," Matthaus told Sky Sports in Germany. “Mario is missing the quality and the right position at the moment,” said Matthaus. “He does not have the defensive qualities as an eight, and Lucien Favre does not have a nine and a half as he once explained"
Dortmund's CEO Watzke however has taken exception to these comments.
“I know that Lothar Matthaus earns his money as a pundit and has to put forward provocative theories, but it would be nice, as one of the greatest players that Germany ever had, he could leave Mario alone and not trample on him,” the CEO told SportBild.
“Mario is doing the right things - he trains well, he does not let up, he gives to the team, he’s totally focused, he’s an important part of our squad, and I’m sure he’ll play some great games for BVB this season".