In the final of the World Cup in 2014 in Rio, he was still a recognized hero known in the media for his frequent goalscoring. At the 2018 Championship in Russia, Mario Goetze is not in the squad. How could this happen? There are several reasons for this.
His shoe from the 2014 World Cup final is one of the main attractions of the Football Museum in Dortmund. The exhibit is admired very much, and it is considered to be a cult object being given a deep respect. After all, playing in it Mario Goetze scored the decisive 1-0 vs Argentina on 113th minute.
Just four years later his glory faded. When Joachim Loew on Tuesday being one floor below the showcase with the historical trophy announced the squad for the upcoming matches for the World Cup in Russia, the name of the most technical player of Dortmund did not sound. "I'm sorry for him, because I know what results he achieved," commented the coach of the national team.
In fact, this decision did not come as a surprise. Goetze's ambitions for the distant future did not contribute to solving his current problems. Mediocre results of recent months by Borussia Dortmund cost him, once the illustrious midfielder of the century, his former reputation – and, eventually, the favor of his longtime sponsor and coach Loew. "This season, he obviously was not in the shape that he usually demonstrates," – said the coach. In addition, Goetze had suffered from a metabolic disease for a long time, which hindered him from playing practice for several months.
All that happened in one of Goetze’s unlucky seasons explained the fact that on the last match day during the important match between Borussia and Hoffenheim (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), he sat on the bench with a scowl. Already a few weeks before, the 25-year-old football player hadn’t had regular playing efficiency in Dortmund, which provoked a lot of speculation. The president of Borussia Dortmund Hans-Joachim Watzke gave an explanation: "For Mario it can be a challenge to cope with the great external impact. This is what all the players who became such huge successes at a young age encounter."
One of the recent critical periods for Goetze was two months ago during the Europa League when playing for his club in Salzburg. By reason of a poor game he was substituted by the end of the first half. The coach Peter Steger spoke with open and unusually harsh criticism: "We were just dissatisfied with Mario. Effective passing, playing at dangerous positions and activity in the opponent’s zone – nothing has been demonstrated."
Probably, that's why, a day later, Loew refused to appoint Dortmund for both control matches against Spain and Brazil. At that time, the national team’s coach was still optimistic about the fact that the hero of the 2014 World Cup still persists in the last matches of the Bundesliga: "He has an incredible potential, and this is a player I really trust." However, after the next weeks of unsatisfactory playing, this trust is lost. Loew hopes for the best: "I expect that after the summer break in Dortmund, he will show a completely different game and he will come back."
Oliver Bierhoff believes that Goetze has a strong spirit. "I am convinced that he will come back. Sometimes such a radical decision can give motivation again," commented the team manager to the operator of the German TV Sky and added, "such a young sportsman can afford to relax for a year or two."