A German hero but Gotze finds no fans in Dortmund
Dortmund: Mario Gotze had none other than Lionel Messi looking in daze with his moment of brilliance for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final but instead of being adored, the mid-fielder is abhorred by fans of local club Borussia Dortmund here.
He rose to prominence from the Dortmund stable to join an elite list comprising Pele, Gerd Muller and Zinedine Zidane among others. But Dortmund has no love lost for the star as he picked Bayern Munich following his rise.
After ninety minutes of end-to-end battle against Argentina, Gotze had scored the decisive goal to seal the World Cup in Germany's favour at the Maracana last July, as Messi's dream lay in tatters.
But much before the 23-year-old attacking midfielder achieved international fame at the world tournament in Brazil, Gotze, who joined the Dortmund Youth Academy when he was around nine years old, left the club for Bayern Munich for what fans here say the lure of money.
"He was technically very good. You could make out that he would make it big someday," said Lars Ricken, director at Dortmund Youth Academy, when asked to throw some light into his early years at the sprawling training facility here.
Now struggling for form at Bayern, a possible return to Dortmund for Gotze was one of the rumours doing the rounds before the onset of the ongoing season's summer transfer window in Europe.
While Borussia CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke was quoted as calling it "unrealistic", Carsten Cramer, Director Sales and Marketing at the club, spoke in similar lines when asked if Gotze has a future here.
Even if Dortmund is not known to loosen its purse like Bayern Munich in Cramer's words, the Gotze story goes beyond money.
Gotze's move to switch allegiance to Bayern did not go down well with Dortmund's passionate fans and they are in no mood to welcome him back to their club. In their eyes the star young player chose money over loyalty and left a real football club for greener pastures.
On his first return to Dortmund after leaving the club in May 2013, fans stood up with a huge banner stating 'The pursuit of money shows how much heart you really have. P--s off, Gotze!' The anger and resentment remains to this day.