Mario Götze’s move from Borussia Dortmund to FC Bayern in 2013 was one of the most explosive transfers in Germany. At the time, it was a stab in the heart for BVB and a major coup for FCB. But looking back, the 28-year-old, who plays for PSV Eindhoven since this season, would perhaps have decided differently.
“There was a storm of enthusiasm in the public,” recalls the midfielder about his 37-million-Euro move to the record champion in an interview with the Algemeen Dagblad. With Borussia Dortmund, the then-21-year-old became a two-time German champion, Cup winner and made it to the Champions League final. As a young star, he was a great identification figure among Dortmund fans. Jürgen Klopp described Götze’s departure as a “maximum blow.”
“Wanted to challenge myself”
But despite his success with BVB, for which he made his debut at 17 and went on to become a Germany international, the promise of playing under Pep Guardiola at FC Bayern was too tempting. “I wanted to challenge myself, to get to know Pep’s philosophy. With Bayern, we reached three Champions League semifinals and Guardiola taught me to see football from completely different positions on the field. Guardiola just put you literally everywhere in the games. Arjen Robben knows what I’m talking about,” Götze explained.
Klopp one of the most important people in Götze’s life
However, the Memmingen native never quite lived up to FC Bayern’s high expectations and moved back to BVB in the summer of 2016. “In hindsight, I should have stayed longer with Klopp, but it was certainly not a mistake to go to Bayern,” Götze concludes, partly because of the special relationship with his former mentor: “I see him as one of the most important people in my life. There is a relationship of trust between us.” He added that he is still in regular contact with Klopp.
Happiness rediscovered in Eindhoven
The second phase at Borussia Dortmund was notoriously less successful for Götze than the first years. Even after the discovery and treatment of a metabolic disease, the midfielder could not find his old strength under coach Lucien Favre. In any case, he has no regrets about his free transfer to the Dutch first division club in 2020. On the contrary: “At PSV, I quickly found back to old form. I’m happy now, totally happy. I like it here very much.” In 13 appearances under coach Roger Schmidt, the 2014 World Cup winner has scored four goals and three assists.