Q & A with Mario Götze, on the National Team, his football idols and the EUROs

Götze is considered one of Germany’ and world football’s greatest young talents and his performances for Borussia Dortmund over the last two years have earned him a regular spot with the German National Team.  This summer Götze is one of the 23 players hoping to win the EUROs with Germany in the Ukraine and Poland.

Since the beginning of training camp, Mario Götze has been showered with questions from Facebook and Twitter users; here’s Mario’s own selection from the latest (virtual) Q & A session.  You can find the original article on DFB.de.

Sophie Hab (via Facebook): What sports do you like other than football?

Mario Götze: Any ball sports, basically, but especially NBA basketball, where I keep an eye on Dwyane Wade and Miami. I also like tennis, matches between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are a must to watch! But I also love following the track and field events at the Olympic Games.

Timo Reich (via Facebook): Are national team players and head coach Joachim Löw on a first-name basis?

Götze: Good question. He calls us by our first names, but it’s “Mr Löw” the other way round. It’s a little less formal at Dortmund, though.

Jorge E. Delgado-Hachmeister (via Facebook): Mario, who do you think was the best player in DFB history?

Götze: Lothar Matthäus. No, wait a minute. Franz Beckenbauer. No, both of them. Watching Matthäus I am captivated by the sheer dynamics and how well he could read the game, in Beckenbauer I admire his elegance and footballing intelligence. And both won major titles.

Mike Helms (via Facebook): Who would you like to swap places with, just for a day?

Götze: Justin Bieber. I mean there’s quite a lot of hype surrounding us players, but that’s small beer when you look at this guy. I’d just love to be in his shoes for a day, see what it’s like being on stage as a singer or actor.

Niclas Tiltz (via Facebook): Your brother, Fabian, plays his football in Germany’s 4th division… is this an issue for you? And do you go to his games?

Götze: Well, for the time being he’s perfectly happy playing for VfL Bochum reserves, and who says he hasn’t got it in him to climb higher that that? Actually, I don’t get to watch too many of his games as Dortmund also play their Bundesliga matches over the weekend. But I like watching Fabian in action whenever I get the chance.

Reinhard W. Mummert (via Facebook): You’re standing on the pitch, the national anthems are being played, and you know it’s only seconds to kick-off… what’s going through your head at that moment?

Götze: Not a lot, to be honest! The atmosphere at international matches, be it in the Champions League or with the national team, is something else! I try to soak it all up, enjoy the moment, and then focus 100 percent on the match and my own role.

Philipp Widmayer (via Facebook): Mario, who’s your personal role model, in sporting and non-sporting terms?

Götze: : As far as football is concerned, this must be Zinedine Zidane – for his elegance, his efficiency, and his quiet composure off the pitch. Other role models? Let me think… I admire people like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, for what they’ve achieved in their lifetime, but my parents are the ones I look up to, for the values they‘ve taught us.

Mathias Wirtz (via Facebook): In how far has success changed your life; how much time do you have left for your friends?

Götze: I have two or three really close friends whom I’ve known for a long time, friendships I hold dear. Strange as it may sound, it’s become quite difficult for me to make new friends, because in the beginning it’s hard to find out what people are really interested in – is it me or is it my “celebrity” status?

Vany Eschweiler (via Facebook): Who are your best mates at the German national team?

Götze: I spend a great deal of time with André Schürrle, Marco Reus, and Toni Kroos. We’re more or less the same age, are of similar character, laugh about the same jokes and generally have a lot in common. Back home we meet quite regularly “off-duty”, as it were.

Salome Inacker (via Facebook):Try and describe yourself in three words…

Götze: This is for other people to do, I don’t really like talking about myself. Ah, alright then – ambitous, honest, feetfirmlyplantedonthefloorfunnysometimespensive. There you are!

Mia Lehmann (via Facebook): Shortly before a game, are you the quiet and withdrawn type, or more of a joker, making light of the pressure?

Götze: Before matches I listen to music – R&B and HipHop. I also do some exercises and concentrate on the tasks lying ahead. Sure, there’s some dressing room banter, but the focus is definitely on what’s going to happen in the following 90 minutes.

Leo von Winterfeld (via Facebook): In attack mode, how much creative freedom does the head coach give you?

Götze: Well, obviously we all get instructions for the specific positions we’re assigned, but on the other hand you want to be as flexible as possible. We have our automated moves, know our team-mates’ running patterns. But at the end of the day, a great idea, a surprise dribble, whatever, will beat any pre-match instruction.

Sonia Kaynaklar (via Twitter): Have you been to Poland or Ukraine before?

Götze: Yes! When Dortmund played a Europa League match in Lviv, for example, and when Germany played against Poland in Gdansk. Lviv is a charming place and we could see Ukraine still has a while to go before catching up with Western European living standards. The atmosphere in the stadium was very special, one of those steeped-in-history places, with a running track and extremely loud fans! The stadium in Gdansk is brand-new, and I think it is very helpful for us to have been there already, not least because our team base camp is situated near Gdansk.

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Cristian Nyari

Cristian is a football writer and analyst living in New York City, fascinated with the history and study of the beautiful game and all it entails. Follow Cristian on twitter @Cnyari

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