Three years after his departure from Borussia Dortmund, one of the best talents Germany has ever had returns home in a wretched state, kneels down, seeking redemption.
His father is now in a different club, different league and different country, standing disappointed once again with hands crossed in judgement over his son’s decisions.
The curious case of Mario Gotze can be suitably depicted through the Parable of the Prodigal Son as this wastefully extravagant forward is sitting on the cusps of returning to the club he started his professional career in.
Kneeling before his stepfather Thomas Tuchel, the German international striker and 2014 World Cup winner is facing a long way to redemption. Borussia Dortmund fans, along with his father Jurgen Klopp, who called his “son” to join him at Liverpool remain disappointed with Gotze’s choices once again.
A SECOND CHANCE
Product of Borussia Dortmund’s football academy, Mario Gotze first entered the club at the age of eight.
During his stay at Dortmund, the 24-year-old formed a formidable partnership with BVB’s another prodigal son Marco Reus affirming their status as Germany’s two of the most talented players of the new generation.
Following a DFB Pokal title and two Bundesliga trophies Mario Gotze became the most expensive German player of all time with his €37 million transfer to Bayern Munich in 2013.
Pep Guardiola was claimed to be the main reason behind Gotze’s decision to go for Dortmund’s title rivals, but Mario Gotze’s decision to leave the club barely 36 hours before Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid left the entire club annoyed.
Gotze betrayed his club, his home and his family and is now looking for a second chance to redeem himself and find the way into the fan’s hearts once again.
BVB – A SANCTUARY
Mario Gotze is just last in the line of players who chose to make amends by returning to a club they had left for a bigger challenge.
Borussia Dortmund has become a proper sanctuary for those who try and fail to make it happen elsewhere, realizing that home was and remains the best place for them to be in.
Marco Reus was the first one to learn this important message.
The 27-year-old left Dortmund youth team in 2006 when he joined Rot Weiss Ahlen before going to Borussia Monchengladbach in 2009. Three years and 97 Bundesliga appearances later he came back home in 2012 from where he watched many of his teammates repeat the same mistakes.
Nuri Sahin is another example.
Germany midfielder left in 2011 for Real Madrid, but joined Liverpool on loan after only 4 appearances for Los Blancos before returning to Dortmund in 2013 also on loan. He completed the full circle in 2014 when he re-signed for his beloved club rectifying his initial mistake.
Shinji Kagawa left Borussia Dortmund after two seasons with the German club and joined Manchester United in 2012. Two years afterwards and mere 38 Premier League appearances the Japanese midfielder also returned home.
Will Gotze do the same in 2016?
NEGOTIATIONS UNDER WAY
Dortmund have opened talks with Bayern Munich over the return of their prodigal son, Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed.
BVB are likely to receive a substantial discount on Germany’s World Cup-winning goal scorer as Gotze failed to meet expectations at Bavarian giants. He completed the full 90 minutes at Bayern on only 27 occasions in three seasons as things simply did not work out between the player and the club.
Gotze has agreed a deal in principle to rejoin Dortmund with reports from Germany claiming he is ready to sign a five-year deal with his former side.
The 24-year-old was initially reluctant to leave the Bundesliga champions expressing his willingness to stay and fight for his place under new coach Carlo Ancelotti. However, the club urged him to reconsider his options as they sent a clear message that Gotze is unlikely to feature in Italy tactician’s plans for the next season.
His departure was a heated event, but the return of the prodigal son Gotze is likely to be no different.
He will have to hit the ground running if he intends to get back in the good books with Dortmund supporters. The fans showed their anger at his decision to move to Bayern in Arpil when they held up a “Milan or Madrid. Just not Dortmund. P*** off Gotze” banner letting their feeling be known.
Dortmund fans are not the only ones feeling disappointed as the man who helped Gotze become a world class player also remains disappointed with his choices.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reportedly feels like Gotze was using him and Liverpool as a back-up option as he pulled out of a move to return to Dortmund.
The Reds have been linked with the Germany international for several months as a move to Anfield was touted as a reunion with Klopp, but Liverpool managed reportedly lost patience with his former star due to his refusal to commit to a deal before Euro 2016.
As Mario Gotze turned his back on his footballing father, he returns home, down on his knees in front of a stepfather, looking for redemption and forgiveness.
Will his wishes be granted? Should they be?