May 17, 2012 by Leon Guite
Dortmund retained their status as Deutscher Meister after a 2-0 win over Gladbach. This is Dortmund’s second back-to-back Bundesliga title; the first time that happened was in the 1955-1966 and 1956-1957 seasons – they join only Hamburg, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern Munich in achieving this feat.
For the past two seasons, the man that has stood out as the knight in the shining armor for Jurgen Klopp’s victorious side is the 19 year old sensation Mario Götze, dubbed by many as “The German Messi”.
Götze is a product of Dortmund’s youth academy, first entering the club as an eight-year-old. During the winter break of the 2009-10 Bundesliga season, Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp gave Mario Götze an opportunity to impress in the first team and handed him his Bundesliga debut on the 21st November 2009 in a 0-0 draw against FSV Mainz 05.
Götze grabbed the opportunity and played a vital role in Dortmund’s Bundesliga Championship winning team of the 2010-11 season. He wasted no time in fitting in with the first team last season, scoring six league goals and setting up a further 15 as the club claimed their seventh Bundesliga title. This made him the best 18 year old player to have ever graced the Bundesliga. His haul of 15 assists in 2010-11 is the highest number in a single campaign since the accurate collection of goals and assists (2004-2005).
But even before that, the playmaker was scoring goals and laying on chance after chance for his teammates at all levels from 2007-10. During this time, Götze made 41 youth and reserve appearances for the club and scored 20 goals while assisting another 13. Meanwhile at the national team level, he scored three and set up another two during the 2009 Under-17 World Cup.
After consistent performances in 2010-11 which saw Götze cement his place in the heart of Dortmund’s attack, he continued his superb form in 2011-12 with 7 goals and 8 assists.
As is often the case with a player who bursts onto the scene at the top level at such a young age, Götze has already played his way into the record books. On the international stage too, the teenager has already made his mark not only on the history of the German national team but also on the nation itself.
Götze was called up for his first senior match for Germany against Sweden, on November 17 2010. He and Leverkusen forward Andre Schuerrle came on as substitutes in the final 15 minutes of Der Mannschaft’s game against Sweden in November 2010. The pair were the first players born after the reunification of Germany to become internationals for the country. Götze became the youngest German international since Uwe Seeler in 1954 to represent the country at the age of 18. He scored his first goal in a 3-2 friendly win over Brazil, thus becoming the youngest player to net for Germany in the post-war era since Klaus Stuermer in 1954. Both players struck for Germany aged 19 years and 68 days.
Götze is rated as the best young talent in the Bundesliga and surely is one of the most exciting talents to emerge from the country in a generation. After helping Borussia land back-to-back titles, he has attracted the interest of Manchester United, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona. The youngster, who is contracted with Dortmund until 2016, has admitted: “Who would not dream of playing with a club like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United?”
Such statistics are pretty impressive for such a young man. To think that he has around 15 years in which to see his vision and technique improve is a truly exciting prospect. Klopp is not the only one who has been falling over himself to praise Götze’s prodigious talent.
Mathias Sammer, the one-time European Footballer of the Year who won the Champions League with Dortmund, famously called him “one of the best talents we’ve ever had.”
Despite his manager’s pleas to the media not to jeopardize the youngster’s development by hyping him up too much, the newspaper Neue Ruhr Zeitung couldn’t contain itself, stating: “He is not just the talent of the century, he is a white Brazilian.”But for a German there can be no higher praise than that of Der Kaiser himself, Franz Beckenbauer. The Germany legend said:”There is no one playing better than him. He runs through opponents as though they aren’t there. He is an instinctive footballer, just like Messi.”
Götze, already looks set to become a major player for his country in the upcoming EURO 2012, despite not yet being 20 or reaching double figures in senior caps. The only problem he would face is the presence of Mesut Ozil, who has been in a superb form for his club and country. National team boss Joachim Loew admits it will be difficult to try to accommodate Götze in the same team. “I don’t see (Mario) on one of the wings, neither left or right. He has the skills to play in the centre of our midfield. It will be a problem.” He said.
With either Sami Khedira or Toni Kroos currently preferred in the deeper midfield role and Bastian Schweinsteiger a permanent fixture in the side, it is up to Götze to force his way into a regular starting berth.
It’s a pretty contrived theory, but there are those who believe that the name you are given can have an influence in deciding the course your life takes, specifically what job you have and skills you acquire. Mario Götze is on track to become a true ‘Fussball Götze’ in his homeland – Götze means idol in German.