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.