The 2014 World Cup for many football fans held different emotions, there was heartbreak, embarrassment, and the feeling of victory. For me it was a victory, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is something I will never forget.
I was 12 at the time of the World Cup in Brazil and had just started watching football the previous year, when I started to follow Bayern Munich. I was super excited to watch the World Cup with my family and friends. One player that always stood out to me was a young midfielder by the name of Mario Götze. Götze was a young emerging star who played for Bayern Munich at the time. While at Bayern, he dazzled many fans into his liking, but the World Cup final in Brazil is where he made a nation fall in love with him.
Germany was one of the top three favourites coming into the tournament, along with Argentina and host nation Brazil. Germany handled the group stage matches pretty well, as they finished with two wins and one draw, seven points and first in Group G. From then on they faced off against France in the quarterfinal, a tightly contested battle. Then it was off to face the host favourites, Brazil. That game ended up being a lot less stressful than many thought it would be, Germany wiped the floor with Brazil, winning seven to one. During that span, Götze only scored one goal in six matches. However, his impact was felt in different areas of the game as a midfielder for the Germans.
A few days past and it was time, the World Cup final was here. I was watching the game from my cousin’s house in Lincoln, NE. Mixed emotions filled my head, as I was both excited and nervous about the game. For the entire first 90 minutes, I was on the edge of my seat, my hands were sweating. Back and forth they went, from one end to the other. With each nation having equal opportunity to put one in, as everyone knows one goal can make the difference in the game of football. Götze was subbed on for Miroslav Klose in the 88’ minute of the match. The match was like any typical soccer match, no scoring through the first 90 minutes, but none the less was action-packed for the entire time. As it went into extra time, the game intensified and it was crunch time for both nations. End of the first extra time, still scoreless. It wasn’t until the 114’ minute when Götze received a gorgeous cross from André Schürrle to then touch it off his chest and bang it home with his left foot. Scoring one of the most significant goals in German football history.
After that goal, Götze became a beloved soccer star with not only Bayern Munich fans, but all of Germany and myself included. Only 22 at the time, Götze had become a household name in a matter of days after scoring that goal. Later on, in 2014, Götzes’ goal was recognized as the goal of the year. After winning the World Cup in 2014, he went on to win two more Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich, appearing in 73 games and scoring 22 goals.
In July of 2016, Götze returned back to Borussia Dortmund and played for one season before having to step back from the spotlight. As in Feb. of 2017, Dortmund sidelined Götze after he was diagnosed with myopathy, a metabolic disease that can cause fatigue and weight gain. Götze was sidelined for six months, making his return in July of 2017. During his second stint at Dortmund, he appeared in 70 matches and scored 13 goals. Götze left the club after a one nill defeat to Bayern Munich and joined PSV Eindhoven on Oct. 6th, 2020 as a free transfer and signed a two-year deal.
Even though Götze is no longer playing for Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund, he will always be remembered by German football fans and myself included. From making his debut with Borussia Dortmund in 2009, winning it all in 2013 with Bayern Munich, scoring one of the biggest goals in German national team history in 2014, to now. Mario Götze is and always will be For The Culture.