It’s one of those nightmare scenarios as a true football fan – You support a club, follow a young player closely, you know he’s tipped for greatness, he quickly becomes one of your favourites in the game and then before you know it, he’s joining a club you come to detest over the years.
Not just a competitor or a rival, but in the case of Borussia Dortmund and the Bundesliga – THE RIVAL. Yes, FC Bayern Munich fans will have a lot to say about history and other things that would not put BVB in the same league or even close.
But being an extremely practical person, I prefer to concentrate on the present and it is apparent for all to see that in the last few years, Dortmund has been the only club to challenge Bayern, beat them at their game and even make them step it up and go all out and win everything last season.
But I am not here to unload my frustrations on Bayern or verbalise how much I loathe or even envy them. When the news of Mario Götze’s transfer first broke, my reaction was obvious – one of disbelief. It took three different people, plus multiple readings of the press release on the BVB website and other trustworthy sites to convince me that it was true.
There were so many things that didn’t make sense about the transfer. For one, the timing of its announcement – on the morning of Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. Well it didn’t quite affect Dortmund’s performance like Bayern would’ve probably liked, but that evening and in the games that followed, another very surprising thing caught my eye – the way the Dortmund fans reacted to it.
They never booed Mario Götze’s every touch, they never threw projectiles and hurled abuses at him. There was gratitude for his performance and contribution, and a sense of acceptance, as if to say, it was bound to happen. If there were upset fans, it didn’t show. Or at least the media found a way to mask all of that. That of course excludes the players’ Facebook page, which was a goldmine of choicest German cusswords.
A lot of fellow Dortmund players at the time, pleaded for Götze not to be victimized, some even supported his decision, while others chose to remain tight-lipped on it. Only recently, after the dust had settled and a few days before the official day of the transfer, did Mats Hummels question the sanity behind it in the “footballing” sense.
I do agree with him in principle and I didn’t see the need, nor the urgency for Mario Götze to move right now. However, I am a fan. And a fan doesn’t think of the financial aspects and career prospects of a player, even though, the practical me tells me that I should. And let’s not forget the €37 million that Dortmund get as part of it – not the worst deal!
Well its past the 1st of July, and Mario Götze is officially a Bayern player now. As if to remind everyone how skewed this transfer was, he showed up for his unveiling in a Nike t-shirt, and is photographed holding that Adidas red jersey, to complete a totally senseless picture of the swoosh literally out sizing the three stripes.
I wonder if that was planned too? If so, well played Nike. And as I always do, I still try to find positives or as rock band Seether would put it “finding beauty in negative spaces“. And this is how I choose to console myself: I am a huge fan of the German National team. It was the first football team I ever supported. All my club allegiances have evolved later.
I always believed that Götze will be a huge part of a ‘Nationalmannschaft‘ that will hopefully win something big. This is his shortcut to getting there. Playing with fellow national team members day in and day out will obviously be a huge advantage. The additional factor of playing under Pep Guardiola may also produce wonders, but I think the whole of Germany also has their fingers crossed along with me in this regard.
And yes, I will miss seeing him wearing black and yellow and scoring goals for a team that I love to watch, but at least some time in the future, and hopefully soon enough, it will pay dividends in a field that matters more in the bigger picture. Bayern Munich may have three Marios (probably two by the time the season starts), but maybe then my insistence that “there is only one Super Mario” might just come true for Mario Götze.