Former Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola won the English Premier League with Manchester City in the season just gone; ex-Borussia Dortmund boss Jürgen Klopp got to the UEFA Champions League final with Liverpool. But for midfielder Mario Götze – who has played under both – there is no comparison.
Götze burst onto the scene with Dortmund under Klopp in 2010, winning back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010/11 and 11/12, the latter of which brought the double of league and DFB Cup, both at Bayern’s expense.
Götze left for Guardiola’s Bayern in 2013, keen to play under the Spanish tactician, but things failed to work out for the former prodigy who returned to Dortmund in 2016 having only started 59 of a possible 102 Bundesliga matches for the record champions.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Götze today is glowing in his praise of Klopp.
“I’m still in touch with Jürgen,” Götze told DAZN. “Of course, he taught me everything about professional football. At that time, I was just 17 and coming up from the youth team. He introduced me to everything. He let me play.”
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It as a period which stands in stark contrast to what Götze experienced in his three seasons at the Allianz Arena.
“Technically, [Guardiola] was a tremendous asset,” he said. “But he is very focused on the game and doesn’t think about players outside of his plan. He didn’t have much empathy, and empathy is part of being a world-class coach.”
Götze is now trying to battle his way back to his best after overcoming metabolic troubles. Two goals and three assists as BVB ensured Champions League football were not enough to punch his ticket to the World Cup in Russia with Germany, but Götze remains optimistic things will keep improving under his next club coach, Lucien Favre.
“Now it’s good just to give the body some time,” he said. “If you have an injury – bone or ligament – it's simple as it heals again. To understand things going wrong at a different level was the biggest challenge.”