Munich - In the depths of the Allianz Arena after FC Bayern München's 4-0 win over SC Paderborn 07 there was one man in particular the media were keen to speak to: matchwinner Mario Götze.
The two-dozen journalists had been forced to wait for over an hour after the last of the 22-year-old's team-mates had passed through due to a random drugs test. When he finally did appear, Götze walked straight past the throng of reporters apologising that he had to leave, only to break out into a huge grin and say he was only joking, before fielding assorted questions.
It was a scene that typified his character and anyone who saw his two-goal display against the Bundesliga debutants on Tuesday evening would not have been surprised by his light-hearted approach given that he takes to the pitch with the same attitude.
Where some players appear to run themselves into the ground with every game, Götze seemingly glides effortlessly across the surface, popping up in pockets of space to wreak havoc with his velvet touch. His first goal after only eight minutes was a perfect example of that: a tidy finish from ten yards out, and once the deadlock had been broken the record titleholders never looked back.
'We had fun'
"It was about time that I scored again - especially after all the chances I had," Götze said, smiling. "We could definitely have scored one or two more goals. I think we played well - we owed that to ourselves after the game against Hamburg." In fact Bayern were relentless, launching wave after wave of attacks against their visitors.
"It was clear to see today that we had fun playing football again and it worked well," Götze claimed. Indeed, the attacker had 104 touches of the ball, a figure bettered only by team-mates Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm. Some of the team’s interplay in and around the penalty area was exquisite, with first-time passing tearing the Paderborn defence apart.
Fit and in form
“I feel great and am happy to be playing,” Götze continued. “It was important to get a goal early and that helped our whole game. It's just so much fun playing with this team and this coach. If you're fit and healthy then everything else happens automatically.”
With the Bayern No19 in this kind of mood, Saturday’s opponents 1. FC Köln will have to be especially on their guard if they are to continue their own strong start to the season. “I look forward to playing in every game,” Götze concluded before disappearing down the corridor, this time for good.
Jonathan Stockitt reporting from the Allianz Arena