Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Mario Gotze plans to use his World Cup snub as motivation to push himself to new heights.
Gotze scored the extra-time winner as Germany overcame Argentina 1-0 in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, but his career has since tailed off due to injuries and “metabolic disturbances”.
The 26-year-old managed 23 Bundesliga appearances in 2017-18, just two fewer than he accumulated across the previous two campaigns.
However, he was unable to earn a place in Joachim Low’s squad for Russia 2018 and found it tough to take.
“I have to grow from that. I have to accept it as an experience that can help me tackle the future and reach the next level,” Gotze told Welt am Sonntag.
“I knew about it a day beforehand, but I had a feeling before that. When I was not selected for the friendlies against Spain and Brazil at the end of March I thought it could happen.
“So it was not completely surprising for me, but it was still hard.”
We trained 2 times a day in the last 4 weeks. Mainly with the ball, which of course is my favorite training pic.twitter.com/3KWDZ6OBf0
— Mario Götze (@MarioGoetze) August 1, 2018
Germany’s defence came to a shock end in the group stage when they went down 2-0 to South Korea, having bounced back from an opening loss to Mexico by beating Sweden.
It represented Germany’s earliest World Cup exit since 1938, but Gotze warned against being too critical of the team.
“After the win against Sweden I thought, ‘Yes, now they are on track.’ It’s hard to judge why it didn’t work,” he said.
“But I don’t think you should speak badly of the team now, because they were simply too successful in recent years and will probably be back in the future. We shouldn’t forget that.”
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