World Cup One-Hit Wonders: Gotze, Hero for One Night Only

Scoring the decisive goal during extra time of a World Cup Final: What more could you ask from a 22-year-old football player? This is what happened in 2014 to Mario Gotze, the man who made Germany celebrate their fourth world title.

Having made his way in Borussia Dortmund, Gotze had just been transferred to Bayern Munich before the World Cup in Brazil. After scoring such a goal, everybody would have bet on a shining future for the little playmaker. Instead, Mario slowly but steadily declined in the following years. Things didn’t go that good for him at Bayern. Coach José Guardiola couldn’t see him fit in his play, as his characteristics were not apt to the Catalan trainer’s tiki taka.

But towards the end of 2015, Pep Guardiola left Munich, and the Bavarians replaced him with Carlo Ancelotti. You would expect that, with a new coach, Gotze could be the cornerstone of Bayern’s new football project. Yet no, it didn’t happen.

Mario thus packed his stuff and came back to Borussia Dortmund. Fans were convinced that, once back home, the playmaker could return to be as decisive as he was in the Brazil 2014 days. But since the beginning of 2017, he has been limited by multiple injuries, as well as by nutrition problems, up to the point that he was suggested to stop playing until he was 100% recovered. In the 2017/2018 season, he played 28 games only, and scored 2 goals. Too few to convince Germany’s coach Joachim Low to bring him to the World Cup in Russia.

In the following seasons, things have not gone much better for him. Gotze remained at Borussia Dortmund until 2020, after which he moved to PSV Eindhoven and then back to Germany again to wear the jersey of Eintracht Frankfurt. His last appearance with Die Mannschaft dates back to 2017 and, at 30 years of age, it is safe to say that his best footballing days are behind him.

Perhaps he problem is that, when you have already hit 7th Heaven at 22, it can only get worse from there.

This is what happened to Mario Gotze, hero for one Brazilian night only – just like those creatures whose existence is condensed in a few hours. Gotze’s career, so far, has all been into that shot sent past Argentinian goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Well, we wouldn’t call that a small achievement anyway.

Check out the other World Cup Meteors in our countdown:
10) Ahn Jung-Hwan, the Korean Killer of Italy

9) Stephan Guivarc’h, the Goalless World Champion
8) The Asamoah Gyan Penalty Nightmare
7) Yordan Letchkov, the Bulgarian Who Made Germany Cry
6) Cuauhtémoc Blanco, the Mexican Juggler of France 1998

5) Oleg Salenko, a Day of Football Insanity