Ever since Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Gotze executed a winning blow against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup Finals, the comparisons to Barcelona darling Lionel Messi have been endless. Coach Joachim Low added fuel to the fire by revealing afterwards that he told Gotze to prove he was better than Messi. At this point, Gotze just wants it all to stop.
The 23-year old, whose been out due to a groin injury since the 5-1 match against Borussia Dortmund in October, says that Low’s advice to him should have stayed between them and has since added unnecessary pressure to his shoulders.
“At the time Jogi Low said that to me, it was very motivating. In retrospect, silence about it would have been better.”
He also went on to say that drawing parallels between two very different players is quite frankly, ridiculous.
“Perhaps journalists began comparing me with Messi after this, but that just makes no sense. We play in different positions. You would not compare a defender with a striker. They should arrange things right, which is not always done, in the context of me as a player.
“To score in the World Cup final is not a small story, of course. Every footballer dreams of it: first to become a world champion and then even better to score in the final. This happened to me and I’m glad.
“After that, the public expectation has again gone up, definitely. If someone has reached a certain level, it is always expected that he becomes better and better but there are also phases in which it does not run so smoothly – and that’s human.”
He remained adamant that the only expectations he is willing to acquiesce to are his own, thanks very much.
“I look primarily at my own expectations. These include improving steadily. I am doing everything to achieve that, I can assure you.”
So lesson learned. No more living vicariously through Gotze, guys. Just walk away.