After scoring dream goal for Germany, what happened to Mario Götze?

After his "goal of the century" against Argentina clinched the 2014 World Cup for Germany, Mario Götze looked poised to become "the German Messi" who would lead the national team for the next decade.

After scoring dream goal for Germany, what happened to Mario Götze?

But the midfielder, who was just 22 when he came on as a substitute and hooked the ball into the net in Rio de Janeiro, has suffered a spectacular plunge from glory.

Poor form after an injury and then a debilitating metabolic disease led to him being left out of the Germany squad for the World Cup in Russia.

In a stark illustration of Götze's battles over the past years, electronics giant Samsung has traced his darkest moments in a commercial.

The video depicts him watching TV coverage of Germany's head coach Joachim Löw announcing he will not be going to Russia, and then traces his ups and downs on the field in the last few years, and ominous shots of a hospital corridor to illustrate his health struggles.

The ad then switches gears to show Götze fighting to get fit and win a place on the 2020 European championships team, with the slogan “what matters most is to keep trying”.

Löw, when he explained his decision to drop Götze from the 2018 team, said: “Mario himself knows that this season he did not deliver the performances that he would have liked to have delivered. “I hope that he will have a new beginning after the summer break and make a comeback,” said Löw adding: “I'm awfully sorry”.

Now 26, Götze joined Borussia Dortmund at the tender age of eight, where he quickly caught the attention of coaches who propelled him through the club's youth teams into the senior lineup.

He was just 18 when he earned his first national cap in November 2010.

Four years later, he came off the bench at the Maracana stadium with Löw's advice ringing in his ears — “show them you're better than Messi” — and with a deft volley moments later gave Germany its fourth World Cup.

  'A burden'

Löw subsequently admitted he feels partly responsible for the pressure that Götze had been under to prove he is still the player he was four years ago – and regrets the Messi comparison.

“That sentence was a spontaneous idea,” he said, adding: “Whether that was good idea in hindsight, I do not know.”

The coach added that the comment “didn't help Mario over the following few months” after the World Cup in Brazil as “he was always measured” by his impact in the final.

“If a player scores the decisive goal in the final at such a young age, it can be a burden later,” added Löw.

But for many, the slump in Götze's career had come even before that night of triumph in Rio de Janeiro.

His fateful decision in late 2013 to leave Dortmund for Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich meant he entered an ultra-competitive atmosphere with a coach – Pep Guardiola – who is better known for his tactical prowess than his pesonal contact with players. After a first season that was written off as a chance for him to adapt, Götze was called up for the 2014 World Cup.

Once he returned from Brazil, a groin injury meant the newly-crowned world champion was confined to Bayern's bench from October to January.

Once he got back on the pitch, Guardiola gave him just six minutes of play in the final stages of the club's Champions League campaign.

Götze finally returned to Dortmund in 2016, and Löw kept open a place for him in the squad for Russia.

But the metabolic illness struck and sidelined him for seven months, and an erratic season this year failed to convince.

Without Götze, Germany ended up crashing out of the World Cup, failing to progress beyond the first round for the first time since 1938.

Even as Germany struggle to pick up the pieces following its disastrous foray in Russia, Götze, with a series of setbacks behind him, says his own experiences can help his chastened national teammates.

“I might stumble sometimes but I'll never stop going. And neither should you,” he wrote on Twitter, with a link to the commercial detailing his darkestdays.

“I hope my story inspires you.”


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Germans ready to make history – Löw

Joachim Löw says Germany is ready to make history by winning Sunday's final to become the first European side to win the World Cup in the Americas.

Germans ready to make history - Löw
Only Argentina stand between the German coach and the World Cup. DPA

The Germans take on Argentina in the World Cup final at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracanã Stadium with Löw hoping he and his team can deliver the nation's fourth world title.

No European side has won any of the eight World Cups held in the Americas, but Germany coach Löw says his side can write their names in the history books.

"Regardless of what has happened in the past, it is a matter of winning now and we know we can write history, because Latin American sides have been able to dominate on home soil," said Löw.

"And why not? It would be an extra joy for us if we were able to win the title on South American soil."

PHOTO GALLERY: Germany humble Brazil 7:1

This is the sixth time Germany will meet Argentina at the World Cup and the third time in the final – with both sides tied at 1:1 in terms of the title match.

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said the Germans are under 'no pressure', while Löw played down the importance of his first World Cup final after a decade as either assistant or head coach of Germany.

"For me, it's not the biggest challenge, each and every knock-out match is a special challenge," he said.

"I believe we are mature as a team, we have showed how well we can play over the last few years and we are marching forward.

"If we are beaten, yes we will be disappointed, but we won't crumble and I think this team has a future."

Argentina are looking for revenge after being drubbed 4:0 by Germany in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup when Diego Maradona was in charge.

But Löw says there is no fear, only respect, in the German camp for Alejandro Sabella's Argentina.

Confidence is high amongst Löw's 'Mannschaft' in the wake of Tuesday's stunning 7:1 drubbing of hosts Brazil in the semi-finals.

"I have no fear whatsoever, there are going to be two teams who have had fascinating duels in the past," said Löw.

"Argentina have been very strong in this tournament, they are much better, more compact and organised in defence than in 2010.

"This team isn't just about (Lionel) Messi, if you believe that you're making a mistake.

"There are other fantastic attackers like Gonzalo Higuaín and Angel Di Maria, while Messi can determine a match, so it will be a gripping final.

"It will be very combative, they will try to keep the ball and the two teams will face off at the same level.

"We have the necessary self-confidence after the last few matches and if we can tap into our potential, we will win."

The Local will be running a live blog pre-match with all the latest news and analysis.

SEE ALSO: Nine things to know about Germany and Argentina