Mario Gotze, the Germany substitute who scored the World Cup final winning goal, was headhunted by FC Bayern Munchen’s future boss Pep Guardiola, shortly after the Spaniard was announced as Jupp Heynckes’ successor at the end of the 2012/13 season.
Guardiola is said to have persuaded FC Bayern to meet the €37m release clause Borussia Dortmund demanded, while exacerbating a growing rift regarding transfers between the German powerhouses.
BVB coach Jurgen Klopp gave up on persuading Gotze to stay – he noted that the Bavarian was a ‘favourite’ of Guardiola’s whose head was turned.
He may have lost his starting spot to Miroslav Klose since Die Mannschaft’s quarter-final win over France, but Gotze came back to claim his piece of history with aplomb, while also further highlighting the claims of the 20-year-old’s club boss, who had another cracking night.
As flagged up by the good old BBC, Guardiola had six of Spain’s 2010 World Cup-winning first XI – Gerard Pique, Carlos Puyol, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Pedro and David Villa – at Barcelona four years ago.
In Rio, practically FC Bayern’s spine, in the form of Golden Glove winner Manuel Neuer, defenders Jerome Boateng and captain Philipp Lahm, midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger (a scandalous miss from the Golden Ball shortlist) and Toni Kroos, and last but not least Thomas Muller, all lined-up from the off, with Gotze on later.
This bodes extremely well for the Bundesliga holders’ hopes of regaining the Champions League trophy they surrendered to Real Madrid last term.
FCB are 7/2 to take the continent’s premier competition back next year, as Barca managed the season after half their team returned from South Africa with winners medals, and Guardiola’s side won’t have the unshakable jinx-monkey on their backs regarding every holders’ inability to retain the trophy since its 1992 rebrand.
Real Madrid (9/2), take note.