Eindhoven (dpa) – Mario Götze has not seen such a solution for a long time. Smiling, with shining eyes and “just happy”, the 2014 German World Cup hero spoke about his dream debut at PSV Eindhoven.
“It’s a good feeling to be back on the field, meeting again and helping the team,” the 28-year-old said on Fox Sports TV. Earlier, he had nipped around the goalkeeper in the 9th minute of the match at PEC Zwolle, taking PSV ahead with his first competitive goal in 303 days and thus laying the foundation for a 3-0 victory.
“That was a typical Götze goal. Intelligent, smart. He played well too,” praised coach Roger Schmidt and added: “He needs more games.” After this performance, Götze will probably get it. Unlike recently at Borussia Dortmund, where the attacking artist no longer played a role in coach Lucien Favre’s plans, Schmidt relies completely on Götze.
Even before the first assignment, his dedication caused euphoria at the typically Dutch club. Götze’s shirt with the number 27 is a hit in the PSV fanshop. His debut performance will have piqued fans’ hopes even more. “The Eredivisie still has a smart player and a quick thinker,” the Algemeen Dagblad wrote with appreciation.
Even though it is still too early for a definitive assessment: Götze and Eindhoven, that could fit. Coach Schmidt’s attacking approach, also known in Germany for his time as coach of Bayer Leverkusen, plus the role of favorites, with which Eindhoven enters almost every league game: you need a creative player who can find solutions in a tight space. And that is exactly what Götze can do.
The first step abroad, which is surprising to many, should be a fresh start in the era of the top footballer. The unforgettable 1-0 victory against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final was the best moment of Götze’s career, but also a burden he could not get rid of. Contrary to what many suspected, after returning from Brazil, Götze did not get off to a full start, but he often did not live up to the high expectations that were placed on him.
After the successful first performance at PSV, which ended in the 67th minute for him on Sunday, Götze wants to improve even further in the coming weeks. “I know it will take a few games to get back to 100 percent,” he said. “It might take a few more weeks and then it will get even better.” If he succeeds, he will happily smile at the TV camera more often in the future.