In this file photo taken May 11, 2022 PSV Eindhoven German midfielder Mario Gotze fights for the ball with Nijmegen’s Dutch Bart van Rooij during the Dutch Eredivisie match between PSV Eindhoven and NEC at Phillips stadium in Eindhoven, Netherlands. — Jeroen Putmans/ANP handout pic via AFP
BERLIN, June 23 — World Cup winner Mario Goetze has been tipped for a Germany recall by former national team coach Joachim Loew after returning to the Bundesliga by signing for Champions League side Eintracht Frankfurt.
Goetze completed his transfer from Dutch Eredivisie runners-up PSV Eindhoven by signing a three-year contract.
“I’m really looking forward to playing for Eintracht Frankfurt,” said Goetze, who scored an extra-time winner in Germany’s victory over Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final.
“The club has developed incredibly and embarked on an exciting, ambitious path which I am glad to be a part of.”
Frankfurt have qualified for the Champions League for the first time since losing the 1960 European Cup final to Real Madrid after winning the Europa League last season.
Sporting director Markus Kroesche said Goetze turned down “numerous offers” in order to join Frankfurt.
“We have lacked a type of player like him so far,” said Kroesche.
Loew, who brought Goetze on as a substitute in the World Cup final, is backing the midfielder to stake a claim for an international recall despite last playing for Germany in 2017.
“He has all the qualities for it,” Loew, who stepped down as coach after Euro 2020, told Sky.
“He will play in the Champions League again, will be the focus here in the Bundesliga and will want to put himself forward for a World Cup place.”
Goetze rebuilt his confidence during his two-year spell at PSV after struggling for form at Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
As a fresh-faced teenager in the 2010/11 season, Goetze helped Dortmund win the first of back-to-back Bundesliga titles.
At the time, German legend Franz Beckenbauer described Goetze as “impossible to stop” and likened him to Lionel Messi.
Bayern signed Goetze in 2013 by triggering a release clause in his Dortmund contract for EUR37 million (RM172 million).
Yet Goetze never nailed down a first-team place under Pep Guardiola at Bayern, leaving in 2016 to return to Dortmund, where a metabolic disorder sidelined him in early 2017, after which he struggled to regain form.
He quit the Bundesliga in 2020 for Eindhoven, where he managed 18 goals and as many assists over the last two seasons. — AFP