Germany boss Joachim Low insists he does not regret telling Mario Gotze to show the world he is better than Lionel Messi.
The 23-year-old’s development has somewhat stalled ever since he scored the winning goal in the final of the 2014 World Cup against Messi’s Argentina, as he has struggled to cement his place in Bayern Munich’s first team due to injury problems and a lack of form.
Low admitted after that triumph in Brazil that he had told Gotze to “show the world you are better than Messi and can decide the World Cup”, but he denies that such comments have put the former Borussia Dortmund man under undue pressure to perform ever since.
“Mario is a player with incredible abilities,” he said on Saturday. “For a player after such a tournament like the World Cup 2014 to sometimes experience a drop is not unusual.
“The fact that I told public that I said to him ‘Show the world that you are better than Messi’, I don’t see this as a mistake. I do not regret it. I think Mario can handle it.”
Gotze was heavily linked with a transfer to Liverpool before stating that he was eager to stay at the Allianz Arena and fight for his place under new head coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Low, despite previously suggesting that a new challenge could benefit Gotze’s career, says he has no interest in further discussing the attacking midfielder’s future plans at club level.
“I am no longer interested in the topic of Bayern Munich or his intentions for transfers. What interests me now is the performance,” he said.
Germany take on Slovakia in a Euro 2016 warm-up match in Augsburg on Sunday.
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