Having struggled with form and dubious injuries over the last two years, midfielder Mario Gotze has found himself on the fringes of Joachim Low’s 23-man squad on the plane to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Gotze made history in the last World Cup in Brazil
Four years ago in Brazil, Germany reached the 2014 World Cup final where they faced Argentina that was led by Messi and other superstars. After 90 minutes on the clock the scoreboard read 0-0, but two minutes before the referee blew the whistle, Germany manager Joachim Low replaced veteran striker Miroslav Klose with then 22-year-old midfielder Mario Gotze – a player that was touted as a potential future superstar, which is why Bayern Munich and then manager Pep Guardiola signed him for the Bavarians 12 months prior, in the summer of 2013.
With the final proceeding into extra time, there was no indication of a winner at first, however in the second half of the extra time things would change that would see Germany lift their fourth World Cup title, per online sportsbooks in Argentina.
Andre Schurrle sprinted down the left flank of the pitch to provide a wonderful cross inside the Argentina box, where Gotze just so happened to position himself in the right place, receiving the ball on his chest before slotting it past the goalkeeper Sergio Romero with his left foot in the 113th minute of the World Cup final. There was no going back from there; this historic goal made Germany world champions thanks to the diminutive Gotze.
Injuries have seen him fall from grace
However, now almost four years later there are serious doubts whether the 25-year-old will be selected by Low for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Since the last tournament in Brazil, Gotze has gone through a tough spell, having transferred back to Dortmund in the summer of 2016 before suffering strange injuries that have seen him sidelined for most of last season.
The current campaign has been somewhat better – appearing in 29 games so far and scoring 2 goals – but his performances on the pitch are far from those four years prior that made him a household name across not only Germany, but the world.
The World Cup winner has only the last few games of the Bundesliga season to prove himself to the German boss Low, before the nation squad jets off to Russia, according to online sportsbook news. This doesn’t give Gotze much time, but he’s that Low knows his worth, and more importantly says that his current plight with injuries has enabled him to develop as a person.
“I know that the next five games are very important to me, but they are not alone in determining whether I go to Russia or not,” said the former Bayern Munich midfielder. “The coach (Low) has known me for many years and knows qualities I have. I have not lost these, on the contrary I have matured as a personality through the experiences I have had in recent years. I’m now 100 percent focused on the last five games, so Dortmund can qualify directly for the Champions League.”