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Spotlight on… Mario Götze

In the latest edition of the ‘Spotlight on…’ series, Sport Report makes the first of several trips to Germany and runs the rule over one of European football’s most talked-about young talents, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Götze.

A product of Dortmund’s much vaunted youth academy having been at the club since the age of 9, Götze broke into the first team last season and has ensured that his name is one of the first on manager Jürgen Klopp’s team sheet with a string of highly impressive and mature performances at the heart of the Bundesliga leaders’ midfield.

The 18 year old is not the archetypal modern footballer in that he stands only 5’9 (176 cm) and is very slight in build, but what he lacks in physical stature, he more than makes up for in ability. Like so many players to come out of German academies, Götze is technically excellent. His close control is exemplary, as is the range and accuracy of his passing. Comparisons to Arsenal and England youngster Jack Wilshere are not without basis, but it should be noted that Götze is much more willing than his English counterpart to run with the ball at his feet and look to beat defenders.

The German’s true gift however, lies in his ability to spot passes and, more importantly, choose the right one. He is very much a team player and one who often prefers providing goals for teammates to scoring them. These attributes have helped make Götze the leading assist maker in the Bundesliga this season with 10, something from which teammates Lucas Barrios and Shinji Kagawa have benefitted most. The ability to make the right decisions in the pressured environment of a Bundesliga match is very rare for one so young and marks him out as truly special. So precocious is the 18 year old’s talent that DFB Technical Director Matthias Sammer lauded him as ‘eines der größten Talente, das wir hatten,’ “one of the biggest talents we (Germany) have ever had,” big praise when one considers he comes from a country which has produced the likes of Franz Beckenbauer, Wolfgang Overath, Günther Netzer, Lothar Matthäus, Jürgen Klinsmann, Gerd Müller and Paul Breitner, and one which has won three World Cups.

Mario Götze in action for Borussia Dortmund (This image is the property of Goal.com)

Götze’s exceptional form this season has helped propel Dortmund to the top of the Bundesliga and with a seven point lead with only seven games left to play, few would bet against the starlet ending the season with a winner’s medal. He has also broken in to the senior national team this season, making his debut against Sweden in November of last year. In doing so, he became the first player (along with fellow substitute André Schürrle) born in the newly unified Germany to represent the country. He added a second cap when he played against Italy last month and will surely be a fixture for years to come.

The wunderkind’s remarkable performances have not gone unnoticed in the footballing world and a string of top clubs continue to be linked with Dortmund’s prized asset, most notably and persistently Manchester United. It remains to be seen if Die Schwarzgelben can keep hold of their star man, but one feels Götze may be best served staying put for a while and playing regular football in a young, highly gifted team.

Much like the previous Spotlight on… subject, Neymar, Götze appears to have the good fortune of belonging to a golden generation of players from his home country. Along with players like Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos, Mesut Özil, Kevin Großkreutz, Jerome Boateng and Manuel Neuer, the Dortmund midfielder should help Germany challenge for major honours for years to come.

Mario Götze

Name: Mario Götze

Place of Birth: Memmingen, Germany

Nationality: German

Date of Birth: 3rd June 1992

Career League Appearances: 31

Career League Goals: 4

Total Career Appearances: 39

Total Career Goals: 6

International Caps: 2

International Goals: 0

Key attributes: vision, excellent passer of the ball, technically superb, ability to operate in tight spaces

Categories: Football
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