Being the poster boy at Borussia Dortmund, his boyhood club, was not enough for Mario Gotze. He wanted to experience the pressure of playing for one of Europe’s most successful sides, Bayern Munich, and enjoyed a lot of success while doing so.
“It was a big step for me to go to Bayern Munich,” Gotze said. “Of course, the expectations were different than at Dortmund, but that’s what I wanted.
“I had a great time. For three years I won a lot of titles, played a lot of games, played with a lot of really good players.
“I really couldn’t believe I was a part of it at such a young age. I left home at 21 to go and play for Munich and was immediately able to perform at a high standard. It was totally surreal and I had no idea where it might lead.”
Gotze arrived at Bayern Munich in the same summer as manager Pep Guardiola, who was credited by many onlookers in Germany for implementing the best brand of football ever played by the Bavarian outfit.
The former Barcelona boss left the Allianz Arena in the summer of 2016 and is now running riot with Manchester City in the Premier League, where he has gone toe-to-toe with an old foe from the Bundesliga and an older friend of Gotze’s - Jurgen Klopp.
“Klopp and Guardiola are two sensational managers. You can recognise their philosophies and in general, see how they work,” Gotze said.
“Pep is very tactical and focuses on keeping possession of the ball, Jurgen is very much about going into every game head on. His humanity and the fact that he can lead a team or an individual player, respond to the individual and then transfer that to football, well that’s awesome.