Mario Gotze, the Bayern Munich midfielder, has been the center of attention since scoring the goal that made Germany the 2014 World Cup Champions last July.
The 22-year-old’s experience with the national team last summer was not perfect though. He was rarely chosen in the starting team, played very little, and failed, at first, to impress Germany’s coach, Joachim Low. Nevertheless, he was named man of the match after Germany’s draw against Ghana showing that he, had potential. Later, Low chose Julian Draxler to start in the semi-final against Brazil and not Gotze. While his teammates would romp in a legendary 7-1 victory, and Miroslav Klose would pass Ronaldo as the World Cup’s greatest goalscorer, the fact he was passed over was a wake-up call to the young player. He would also not feature in the German starting XI for the final match against Argentina, but of course would play a huge role in the outcome.
During the final match, Gotze was called in to replace Klose in the 88th minute. Just before he entered the game, Low told Gotze to “Show the world you are better than Messi and can decide the World Cup.” That’s exactly what he did! Lionel Messi, the 27-year-old forward, four time Ballon D’Or winner, Barcelona legend, and Argentina’s captain is not to be taken lightly. Credit must also go to Mats Hummels who was able to slow the Argentinian down. Finally, in the 113th minute, Gotze got a cross from teammate Andre Schurrle, controlled it on his chest and fired it into the goal making Germany World Cup winners for the fourth time. In fact, he was the first substitute to score a World Cup winning goal.
On January 13th, Gotze tweeted the following “What happened 6 months ago? Do you remember where you´ve been on this date? #workinghard #PartOfGoetze @DFB_Team” along with a picture of the unforgettable goal indeed! But is all this glory over one goal well-deserved? Is Gotze developing into a German Messi or will he just fade away soon after as the glory of 2014 Weltmeister passes?
Gotze’s move in the summer of 2013 from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich earned him a lot of criticism and negative reviews especially from his old club’s fans. Both Gotze and Robert Lewandowski left the club at the time, just after Dortmund lost the Champions League Final to Bayern Munich. But whether he is liked or not, one cannot ignore Gotze’s fast playing style, his technique and dribbling skills. He is also known for his play-making capabilities. He has already scored 26 goals with Bayern during his one and a half seasons with the club.
The 22-year-old is a fixture in the squad chosen by Pep Guardiola, but hasn’t started in every match. Bayern Munich has very strong attackers and forwards consisting of: French star, Frank Ribery; Dutchman Arjen Robben, Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, Germany’s favorite Thomas Muller, German’s fußallgott Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Real Madrid legend Xavi Alonso.
Each star has got his work cut off for him to be able to prove himself and show he deserves the playing time. Needless to say the competition over the starting XI is fierce. Mario Gotze’s talents have taken attention all over Europe. He was chosen amongst this year’s Ballon D’or contenders along with legends like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Philipp Lahm, Lionel Messi, Manuel Neuer, and winner, Cristiano Ronaldo.
More than one of his goals this past season have been chosen Bundesliga’s goal of the week. The fervor he shows as well as the passion he demonstrates in his playing style should qualify him to become one of the best as the years go by.
Have you tuned into Last Word On Sports Radio? LWOS is pleased to bring you 24/7 sports radio to your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. What are you waiting for?