Mario Götze

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Mario Goetze to return to Dortmund training after months out

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DORTMUND, Germany (AP) Germany World Cup hero Mario Goetze is expected to return to training with Borussia Dortmund when the side reconvenes from its summer break on Friday.

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Goetze hasn’t played since January and was diagnosed in February with “metabolic disturbances” following months of recurring muscular problems.

The 25-year-old Goetze completed just four games in 11 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund since returning from Bundesliga rival Bayern Munich last summer.

New Dortmund coach Peter Bosz also expects new signings Omer Toprak and Dan-Axel Zagadou to take part on Friday, though the injury list remains long, with Marco Reus, Raphael Guerreiro, Julian Weigl and Shinji Kagawa all still out.

New signings Maximilian Philipp and Mahmoud Dahoud, as well as Mikel Merino of Spain, will join the side later following their involvement in the Under-21 European Championship.

Gotze out indefinitely with metabolism disorder

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Mario Gotze’s last few seasons have not fulfilled the expectations thrust about the World Cup-winning attacker.

Gotze, 24, scored the 113th minute goal that lifted Germany past Argentina in the 2014 World Cup, but has endured successive disappointing seasons between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

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With just two goals this season, Gotze has played just 24 minutes since BVB came back from winter break. On Monday, the club revealed why: a metabolism disorder that will keep him out for an indefinite period of time. From Sky Sports:

“We are glad to know the reasons for Mario’s complaints and we are convinced that after recovering he will give us extra quality with his exceptional abilities,” said Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc.

“Mario gets the full backing and maximum support from all of us at Borussia Dortmund on his way back.”

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Gotze at his best, and here’s hoping this problem is both curable and the reason for his struggles.

Mario Gotze rejoins Borussia Dortmund from Bayern Munich

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He’s back.

Mario Gotze, 24, has rejoined Borussia Dortmund after leaving them for Bayern Munich in 2013.

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Gotze has signed a four-year deal with Dortmund and the transfer fee is believed to be $28.6 million.

The German international playmaker made his name for Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp as they won back-to-back Bundesliga title and then made the final of the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League.

Gotze didn’t play in that final through injury and before the semifinal against Real Madrid news broke that Bayern had met the release clause of $40 million in his contract.

Now he is switching the Allianz Arena for the Westfalenstadion and it is a homecoming for the BVB academy product.

In a statement on their website, Dortmund had the following to say about the deal:

“I am personally very pleased that Mario has decided to Borussia Dortmund. I have, since his departure in 2013, always hoped that he will one day return to us, “said Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.

The German international admitted it may take some Dortmund fans some time to come around to the idea of him heading back to the Westfalenstadion.

“When I switched from BVB to Bayern in 2013. That was a conscious decision behind I will not hide myself today,” Gotze said. “Three years later, I look with different eyes at my former decision. I can well understand that many fans could not understand my decision. I would not even take it so today. When I return to my home, I want to all people – especially those who do not receive me with open arms – to be convinced by my performance. My aim is to play again my best football. For all of us, the club and the BVB fans. “

Gotze was part of a dynamic Dortmund attack assembled by Klopp as he played alongside Robert Lewandowski and close friend Marco Reus.

Since moving to Bayern he had an up and down time under Pep Guardiola. In 2015-16 he appeared in just 21 total games, scoring six times, but during his time with Bayern he scored 36 in 114 games, compared to his 31 goals in 116 games for Dortmund in his first spell.

Now Gotze and Reus are reunited, Dortmund’s coach Thomas Tuchel has a big-time replacement for Henrikh Mkhitaryan who they sold to Manchester United earlier this summer. Dortmund have also added Ousmane Dembele, Sebastian Rode, Rahael Guerreiro, Emre Mor, Marc Bartra and Mikel Merino to bolster their squad following the sale of Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan. Tuchel has also made a $55 million on those deals, which is very good business as Dortmund aim to make a splash in the Champions League and challenge Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich for the title.

Gotze is best known for famously jumping off the bench and scoring the winning goal for Germany in extra time of the 2014 World Cup final and he will now look to recapture the form which saw him become one of Europe’s best playmakers.

With Lewandowski, Gotze and now Hummels heading to Bayern from Dortmund, is this the beginning of the conveyor belt being put in reverse? Probably not, but it is still nice for Dortmund’s fans to see one of its favorite sons return with his best years still in front of him.

Gotze returning to Dortmund from Bayern in order to reclaim his game

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Mario Gotze has one of the most important goals in the history of his national team, and now will hope to elevate his club game.

Bild says the two sides are still about $5 million apart on the transfer fee, but all indications point to the 24-year-old attacker leaving Bayern Munich for Borussia Dortmund for somewhere between $25-30 million.

Bayern triggered a $49 million release clause to bring Gotze to the Allianz Arena in 2013, one of several high profile pulls the Bavarian side made from Dortmund.

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His statistical production remained similar, but his playing time dropped off under Pep Guardiola (perhaps due to defensive issues). Meanwhile, he made more of an impact for country, scoring 7 goals in 2014 including the World Cup winner against Argentina.

If the move comes to pass, Gotze leaves Bayern with three Bundesliga titles (five of six if you include his time at BVB).

Follow Live: Germany takes on in-form Slovakia

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The German defense looked unbeatable in the group stage of Euro 2016, but they’ll face a tough test in Slovakia with a berth in the quarterfinals on the line.

The Slovaks were the last team to score against this German squad, all the way back in a tournament warm-up game which ended in a surprising 3-1 Slovakian win. Since, Germany has been perfect at the back, with a trio of clean sheets so far.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Via NBCSports.com ]

That defense is tasked today with dealing with Slovakia’s danger man Marek Hamsik, who scored the winner against Russia in the group stage and assisted the other. Hamsik was kept quiet during the final group stage match, a 0-0 draw with England, and the pairing of Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels will be tasked with stopping his progress forward again.

Meanwhile, the vaunted German attack has sputtered. Thomas Muller, he of World Cup superstardom, has not scored a single goal in eight career European finals matches. Mario Gotze has struggled up front as well, on a streak of five straight competitive matches without a goal, and has been replaced in the starting lineup by Julian Draxler.

A quirk to this game could be the pitch at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille. The grass was torn to pieces during the group stage, so the field was completely torn up and replaced with grass brought in from the Netherlands. Neither team was allowed to train on the field the day before the game.

LINEUPS

Germany – Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector, Khedira, Kroos, Muller, Ozil, Draxler, Gomez.

Slovakia – Kozacik, Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Gyomber, Kucka, Hrosovsky, Skriniar, Hamsik, Weiss, Duris.