Mario Gotze made a rare starting appearance mid-week, scoring on his return to Germany’s lineup against Italy. Bouncing back from their disappointing defeat to England at the weekend, the reigning world champions slotted 4 past their fellow Euro 2016 contenders.
Gotze appeared to be rejuvenated playing on the international stage following an injury plagued year that has ultimately ruined his season; a hamstring problem kept the midfielder sidelined for almost five months.
Since his return to fitness, Gotze and his manager Pep Guardiola have yet to strike up a strong relationship. The former Dortmund star has made just one appearance for the German champions, drastically falling down the Bayern pecking order as Guardiola eyes Champions League and Bundesliga success.
Many have felt at least an element of sympathy for the seemingly jaded German star, but ahead of Germany’s latest fixture, the world cup winner was the victim of a stinging attack from former German international and Bayern Munich Legend, Mehmet Scholl.
Liverpool target Gotze, who scored the winning goal as Germany triumphed over Argentina in the World Cup two years ago, was branded a shadow of his former self and was heavily criticised for not training hard enough by Germany’s Euro 96 winner, Scholl:
“Why can’t he produce consistent performances? For me the answer is obvious – he has to train much, much more.”
“I remember when he was very young at Dortmund. He was an arrow, he was so fast, he was so athletic. At the moment he is so far removed from that.”
When probed to comment on whether incoming Manchester City boss Guardiola cares enough about Gotze and whether the Spanish coach appreciates his need to find his best form with regular action before Euro 2016, Scholl responded:
“Why should it interest Guardiola? He has two months left (at Bayern Munich). He wants to win the Champions League with this team.”
Gotze, who’s agent recently lashed out at Guardiola, has been tipped for a reunion with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield this summer, while former club Dortmund are also monitoring his situation.
Keen to remove any black marks against his name ahead of a potential move, Liverpool target Gotze attempted to dismiss Scholl’s criticisms.
Speaking in the post match interview, Gotze laughed off the comments from Scholl:
“I didn’t know that he observes my training, that he is always there. I think that I train enough.”