Frankfurt in the Champions League: The superstar prevented: Why Mario Götze failed at first - and is now shining again

If you're an admirer of Mario Götze, you're in a good phase again at the moment.

Frankfurt in the Champions League: The superstar prevented: Why Mario Götze failed at first - and is now shining again

If you're an admirer of Mario Götze, you're in a good phase again at the moment. After two years in Dutch exile at PSV Eindhoven, the 30-year-old is back in the Bundesliga. Now he plays for Eintracht Frankfurt, not an absolute top club, but an up-and-coming club that is knocking at the top again as the reigning Europa League winner and Champions League participant. At least that's what many fans dream of. On Wednesday evening (from 6.45 p.m. in the stern live ticker) is the starting signal for the first appearance on the really big football stage: Frankfurt welcomes Sporting Lisbon.

Despite the Götze commitment and the resulting euphoria, Eintracht only started the season moderately. This also has to do with the fact that she played the opening game against FC Bayern. They swept the Frankfurters out of the Waldstadion with a score of 1: 6. It was the absolute top dog's rough announcement to a potential competitor. Eintracht was overwhelmed by this.

But recently there were clear victories against Werder Bremen and RB Leipzig. Eintracht was magical - and Götze was the conductor. Götze (together with Daichi Kamada, of course) steered the game with outstanding technique and game intelligence. Not only that: in the game against Leipzig, he had the most ball contacts and, at 11.5 kilometers, ran more than any other player on the pitch.

Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner heard from his new star after the first competitive game in the cup against second division promoted team 1. FC Magdeburg. enthused: "That wide-ranging view when the opponent is pressing and then having the solution ready is the supreme art. He is someone who sees depth even in pressure situations and can initiate attacks. He did that very well. I am very happy with his debut."

Götze's return to Eintracht is once again a big promise that no one can say at this point in time whether it will be kept. Of course, this has to do with the exaggerated expectations that always accompanied the "child prodigy" that he once was.

Mario Götze made his Bundesliga debut for Borussia Dortmund at the age of 17 and played a major role in BVB's successes from 2011 to 2013 under Jürgen Klopp (German champion, cup winner, Champions League finalist).

What is often forgotten: even then he was suffering from injury-related setbacks: in 2012, when BVB won the national double, he missed the entire second half of the season due to pubic osteitis. In the final spurt of the 2013 season, like in the Champions League final against Bayern, he had to pass due to a muscle injury. During this time, Götze repeatedly provided magical moments on the pitch, but in an emergency it was also possible without him. This became a sign of his career. Götze was the man for the extraordinary moments, but he never fulfilled the unreasonably exaggerated expectations in the long term.

The best example is the moment in which Götze made himself immortal: the attacking midfielder scored his brilliant winning goal in the World Cup final in Maracanã in extra time. Only in the 88th minute was he substituted on by national coach Joachim Löw. Until then, Götze had played a weak World Cup with just a few minutes of play. In the legendary semi-final, the 7-1 win against Brazil, he was injured. In an article for the Players' Tribune, he himself wrote about the World Cup goal and the tournament: "I couldn't find anything positive about it. Before the final I was really depressed."

The change to FC Bayern accompanied by loud noises did the rest. It is well known that Pep Guardiola did not want him. Despite good performances and a solid goal quota in the first two years, Götze never really arrived in Munich and was annoyed that Guardiola often substituted him and did without him in important games in the Champions League.

The flight back to Dortmund did not improve the situation. On the contrary: a metabolic disease forced Götze to be out for a long time. Even his last coach at BVB, Lucien Favre, could not do anything with the now fit player. In that phase, Götze himself contributed to this with sometimes very mixed or weak performances. Götze remained the player for the moments, not the distance. In Dortmund, however, he didn't even have more moments, as much as one wished, because the admiration of the fans and the media for the World Cup final goalscorer was unbroken by many.

Basically, the hype surrounding him continues to this day. The two years at PSV Eindhoven, where he played fit again in a weaker league, were watched like a worried family. And with Roger Schmid, he had a coach who relied on him. Götze steered the game and scored goals again. The reward was winning the Dutch Cup.

So now the return to the Bundesliga and the Champions League. As in Eindhoven, Götze shines at Eintracht Frankfurt with a club from the second row. Maybe this is the right place for him. If he continues as he has indicated so far, it will be another good season for Frankfurt.

He confidently irons off questions about the national team that are asked again. It is known that he is in contact with national coach Hansi Flick. With a comeback in the national team, Götze's strange career would reach a new high point. From a fan perspective, it would be too good to be true. Like in fairy tales. But there might be expectations again that cannot be met.

Sources: "Zeit" podcast "He can kick", "Sportbuzzer", "kicker", "Die Welt", ""

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