Mario Gotze: the German Messi ?

Tipped as the German Messi, Mario Götze’s career has moved from strength to strength over the past three years with Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.

Being one of the finest talents to emerge from the pool of German youth player it was to no-one’s surprise that he has been chased by various top European sides, including Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona. But now, as he signs for German and European Champions Bayern Munich, for a record €40 million, everyone wants to know what makes the young midfielder so special?

Gotze’s past:

Born on the 21st of June 1992 in Memmingen, a small town in Southern Bavaria, Mario Götze was the middle child of three. Born to father Jürgen Götze, a German professor, he was subject to football influence from an early age.

Older brother Fabian was already interested in the sport and dragged Mario in to it. By the age of eight Mario had signed for his first team, FC Rosberg. This is where the young starlet began to draw attention towards himself.

From early on it was very apparent Mario had the ability to weave through defenders with ease and at first he was played as a striker.

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After a year his family moved to Dortmund where his father had received a new job. This is when Mario’s career rocketed. Mario played for Fc Eintracht Hombruch in a district of Dortmund for three years before Borussia Dortmund scouts observed the wonder kid. He signed professional for Borussia Dortmund in 2001 at the age of eight.

Gotze made his debut for the senior team at the end of the 2008-09 season, but this was not until the following season when Dortmund Manager, Jurgen Klopp, promoted him to the first team. This is where we find Mario Gotze now.

Present:

From the outset Mario made it very apparent with his performances in the 2010-2011 season that he was one of the brightest young talents in Europe.

Either on the flanks or through the centre, Gotze’s creative talent quickly made him the star of the Dortmund side, he picked up his first title in his first full season.

Much more is expected of a player that Dortmund legend Matthias Sammer proclaimed as “one of the best talents that we’ve ever had”.  Indeed he is clearly an incredible talent with six goals and 15 assists in 33 appearances.

The 2011-12 season brought another Bundesliga title for the youngster, with Dortmund winning League and Domestic Cup double. However it was not Gotze who feautred as the star of the team due to injury problems. He only made 17 appearances with 14 of them coming from the bench. It was Japanese star Shinji Kagawa who has now moved to English Giants, Manchester United. Gotze missed the majority of the season as a result of a hip injury.

Many began to question as to whether or not the youngster’s career was in jeopardy. One man still backed the youngster though, Dortmund manager, Jürgen Klopp. Klopp proclaimed that Gotze would one day be the best midfielder the world had ever seen and was not willing to sell him even after London club Arsenal offered the club  €30 million. Mario was no longer a German household name, however he was still a young starlet who was attracting attention worldwide.

Last season was pivotal campaign for Gotze, who now had the support of fellow German youngster Marco Reus and, inform Polish target man, Robert Lewandoski. Although un-able to defend their Bundesliga title, losing to rival club Bayern Munich, Götze had his most successful season yet with 12 goals and 15 assists in 34 appearances. After a game in December 2012, in which Mario scored a hat-trick, German Legend Franz Beckenbaur said this:

[blockquote cite=”Franz Beckenbaur” float=”no-float” align=”left”]”It is not possible to stop Mario Götze. There is no one playing better than him. He runs through opponents as though they aren’t there. He has the same assets as Lionel Messi in terms of his technique and understanding of the game. He is an instinctive footballer – just like Messi.”[/blockquote]

Future:

On the 21st of April, 10 hours before Bayern Munich were due to face Barcelona in an anticipated Champions League match, they announced the signing of Mario Götze for a record sum of €37 million. This was to everyone’s surprise as many had predicted that he would move to England or Spain.

To Dortmund fans, their once prodigal son taken from their youth academy, had just joined their biggest rival. This lead to many branding him a traitor and scenes of burning tops and banners were displayed within the stadium.

Summing it all up:

Strengths:

He is technically one of the most gifted players in the world and at the age of 21 his future is extremely bright. He has a classy touch, close control  and the ball attracts to him like a magnet (similar to Messi). He’s got decent pace, and more importantly a burst of speed when needed. Mario is not shy to get into the box either and he is always keen to take a shot on goal. He has the eye to see the a move progress and his long range passing is slowly improving, something midfielders such as Bastian Schweinstiger will aid him with.

Weaknesses:

Götze is still a very young player and is therefore still fairly inexperienced. With more game time he will only improve. Whether or not this will be available at Bayern, we are yet to see.

Mario is very good at the start of the game as he is alert and focused, however he does tire and his temper begins to show. Despite this, these are all traits that will improve with experience.

The main problem for Götze is his physicality. At 5 feet 9 inches he is not the biggest target, however his ball control does make up for this some-what.

Mario Götze has one of the brightest careers ahead of him and if given the playing time he deserves he will be one of the greatest players ever to emerge from Germany.

On a more personal note, having watched Mario since h3 first appeared, I for one am a huge admirer and cannot state how much I want to see him to succeed and grow as a player. Whether he will or not, only time can tell.

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