“Super-Mario” Goetze shines against Brazil

Mario Goetze made his entrance on to football’s world stage with a fantastic gala performance during the German national team’s 3-2 win against record-winning World Cup champions Brazil. After his brilliant performance during the eight-star match between the two former World Cup champions (3 titles Germany, 5 titles Brazil) the 19-year-old received even more praise than he enjoyed five days earlier after the opening round of the Bundesliga, when he led champions Borussia Dortmund to a 3-1 victory over Hamburger SV. “God has showered this guy with talent”, commented Franz Beckenbauer on Goetze’s performance in a column for the tabloid “Bild Zeitung”. “It was a great experience and something very special for me that I was allowed to play right from the start for the first time”, Goetze disclosed. “I was very nervous before the match, but less during the game because I was focused. Apart from the national anthem and other trivia it was just like being with the club”, the midfielder continued.

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Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund) was the best player on the pitch during Germany’s victory over Brazil. (Photo: GES/Augenklick)

“He has the knack of reading a situation faster than anybody else, to do exactly the right thing and to surprise the opponents”, said Beckenbauer. “I love ingenious footballers like Goetze. He has almost everything at the tender age of 19. I won’t put anything past him – save, perhaps, to become a heading monster.” As scorer and playmaker the coolest youngster for many a year had carried forward to the international stage his masterful performances at club level, as requested by national coach Joachim Loew. Goetze acknowledged that there is a great difference between that and league matches with Dortmund, with demands much higher. But in Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp worried that the hype around Goetze could get out of hand. Proof of excessive exaggeration is underlined on an online site of a German print magazine calling the 19-year-old “a little God”.

A friendly match on a “super level”

Loew was radiant after this magic moment of German football on August 10, 2011. “Mario always finds solutions, he passes cleanly with his timing exact, he receives the ball and takes it well -- it’s the simple things he does best”. But the national coach praised the splendid contribution from all his players, especially in the second half despite falling off in the final minutes. “They played with great desire, much joy, true dedication and impressive drive. Good team-work, good team, good match, good tactics, good performance”. Loew listed all the plusses but concluded his praise with a little side dig towards the bellyachers in the clubs. “It was a friendly, previously argued and criticised, on a super level.”

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Defender Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) with a powerful header while Robinho is watching him. (Photo: GES/Augenklick)


Brazil’s coach Manu Menezes also predicted a great future for “Super-Mario” Goetze and praised the entire young generation of the German Football Association, DFB, elevating the German selection as an example for his team which has stagnated during its rebuilding. “We want to get to the level of the Germans”, he disclosed. It is really an almost sensational first in world football that the German national team are set as an example for the Brazilians. Goetze, sometimes respectfully called “Goetzinho” due to his apparently Brazilian technical proficiency, admitted that he considered the South Americans as the example to follow in the past, naming Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.

Problematic case has Podolski on the edge

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About 55,000 spectators in the new Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart, refurbished at 60 million Euros, and TV viewers in 190 countries saw a strong season opener by the 2010 World Cup bronze medallists and European runners-up. The season will conclude with the European Championship final in Kiev on July 1, 2012. And there, with Loew making it his expressed goal, the European title can be snatched from the Spaniards. The good performance in Stuttgart was achieved despite missing two regular players, Mesut Oezil and Sami Khedira. Loew rested them as they had been on a tour through the USA and China with Real Madrid shortly before the friendly.

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Andre Schürrle (left) und Bastian Schweinsteiger are celebrating a goal during the 3-2 victory over Brazil. Both players scored one goal. (Photo: GES/Augenklick)

When Oezil returns for the upcoming matches against Austria (European qualifier at Gelsenkirchen) and Poland (friendly in Gdansk) at the beginning of September, there could still be a place for Goetze, Loew hinted. The Dortmund player can move from the centre to the left, where Lukas Podolski disappointed against Brazil. Substituted at halftime, the Cologne striker had been forced to make an early exit. There was one clear realisation in the media commentaries. The great success had one loser, Podolski, who looked like a fossil from the past after ten minutes of intensive endeavours in a high-speed game.

The Pole by birth, highly seen as a great talent for a long time, has been lacking a convincing international appearance for some time. He is threatened to be sidelined within the DFB squad at the age of 26 and 90 caps. It was bad luck for the frustrated Podolski in Stuttgart because 1. FC Cologne had been adamant that he should play just one half. He should be rested for the away match against Schalke on Saturday. It is no new topic that Podolski is challenged in the national team. The offensive player too seldom exploits his potential. Andre Schuerrle, who replaced him in the altogether clearly better second half and scored a goal, Goetze, Oezil and also Thomas Mueller are more proficient in the modern game in offensive midfield. The next international matches could provide interesting line-up equations.