The man who will forever be remembered for his winning goal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final could be in line for a recall by Germany. bundesliga.com examines why Mario Götze might find himself back in favour with national team boss Joachim Löw.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Götze since his extra-time winner against Argentina in Brazil saw Germany crowned as world champions. The Borussia Dortmund attacker was part of his country’s run to the UEFA Euro 2016 semi-finals, but injuries and an unusual metabolic disorder ultimately saw him drop down the pecking order.
Now though, the former Bayern Munich player has been tipped to make a comeback at international level. Here are some of the reasons why.
He’s fit and finding consistency
Götze’s unexpected illness forced him to take a break from the game in March 2017, and he last played for Germany in November of that year, when he came on to set up a Lars Stindl equaliser in a 2-2 draw against France.
The five-time Bundesliga winner re-established himself at Dortmund last season, scoring twice in 23 league matches. He took a while to break into the side under new coach Lucien Favre during the current campaign, but he has now started seven out of eight league matches in 2019.
Former Germany manager Berti Vogts said recently that he has been enjoying watching Götze, who looks set to be a key player for BVB during the title run-in.
“I think that Götze is at least back on the path towards the national team,” Vogts said.
Watch: Götze was on the scoresheet as Dortmund beat Leverkusen!
He’s in form
Missing out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and Germany’s UEFA Nations League campaign will have been frustrating for Götze. The Dortmund academy graduate has kept his head down, however, and started doing plenty of talking on the pitch.
The club’s number 10 has now scored four goals and made six more in the Bundesliga this season, with six of those contributions coming since the winter break. He has two goals and three assists in his last five league outings, with the latest important contribution coming when he made the clinching goal for Christian Pulisic in a 3-1 win over VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 25.
“Mario is really giving his all, and he’s trying to be smart in his movement,” Götze’s former Dortmund teammate Sebastian Kehl, now a staff member at the club, said after the Stuttgart game.
“After a few problems at the start of the season, he’s really gaining momentum.”
Götze has always been adaptable, and when Germany played without a recognised striker for the first time in their history in November 2012, he was the man tasked with playing the false nine role.
A reaction to defences sitting deeper, the false nine is tasked with confusing the opposition by dragging them out of shape and freeing up space for other attacking players to exploit.
It was a role Götze occupied frequently with his country, and one he reprised for Dortmund in their stunning 4-0 demolition of Atletico Madrid last October.
More recently, Favre has deployed him in a more traditional number 10 role behind a striker as well as deeper in central midfield. Slowly but surely, and wherever he plays, Götze is becoming one of Dortmund’s most influential players – even filling in as captain when Marco Reus was injured.
He’s still young
Götze has been on the scene for what seems like an eternity, but he won’t turn 27 until June. The man who made his Bundesliga debut as a 17-year-old in November 2009 has a wealth of experience to draw on, and yet in theory he should only be coming into the prime of his career.
He won back-to-back league titles in his first spell with Dortmund under Jürgen Klopp, and gained further knowledge of the game while winning a treble of German championships on Pep Guardiola’s watch at Bayern.
All the while, of course, Götze was also travelling the world with Germany. He made his debut for his country in November 2010, and has already amassed 63 caps – scoring 17 goals.
He now has over 200 Bundesliga games behind him – as well as over 50 goals and 50 assists in the German top-flight matches.
With Germany opting to make some changes ahead of their UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers, a fresh chance for Götze – with all the know-how he brings – could be just what Löw needs.