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Goetze's descent into hell after 2014 World Cup dream goal

AFP  |  Berlin 

After his "goal of the century" against clinched for Germany, Mario looked poised to become "the German Messi" who would lead the national team for the next decade.

But the midfielder, who was just 22 when he came on as a substitute and hooked the ball into the net in Rio de Janeiro, has suffered a spectacular plunge from glory.

Poor form after an and then a debilitating led to him being left out of the squad for in

In a stark illustration of Goetze's battles over the past years, has traced his darkest moments in a commercial.

The video depicts him watching TV coverage of Germany's head announcing he will not be going to Russia, and then traces his ups and downs on the field in the last few years, and ominous shots of a hospital corridor to illustrate his health struggles.

The ad then switches gears to show fighting to get fit and win a place on the 2020 European championships team, with the slogan "what matters most is to keep trying". Loew, when he explained his decision to drop from the 2018 team, said: "Mario himself knows that this season he did not deliver the performances that he would have liked to have delivered.

"I hope that he will have a new beginning after the summer break and make a comeback," said Loew adding: "I'm awfully sorry".

Now 26, Goetze joined Borussia at the tender age of eight, where he quickly caught the attention of coaches who propelled him through the club's youth teams into the senior lineup.

He was just 18 when he earned his first national cap in November 2010.

Four years later, he came off the bench at the with Loew's advice ringing in his ears -- "show them you're better than Messi" -- and with a deft volley moments later gave its fourth

- 'A burden' -


Loew subsequently admitted he feels partly responsible for the pressure that Goetze had been under to prove he is still the he was four years ago -- and regrets the Messi comparison.

"That sentence was a spontaneous idea," he said, adding:"Whether that was good idea in hindsight, I do not know." The added that the comment "didn't help Mario over the following few months" after in as "he was always measured" by his impact in the final.

"If a scores the decisive goal in the final at such a young age, it can be a burden later," added Loew.

But for many, the slump in Goetze's career had come even before that night of triumph in

His fateful decision in late 2013 to leave for rivals Munich meant he entered an ultra-competitive atmosphere with a -- Pep Guardiola -- who is better known for his tactical prowess than his pesonal contact with players.

After a first season that was written off as a chance for him to adapt, Goetze was called up for

Once he returned from Brazil, a groin meant the newly-crowned world champion was confined to Bayern's bench from October to January.

Once he got back on the pitch, Guardiola gave him just six minutes of play in the final stages of the club's campaign.

Goetze finally returned to in 2016, and Loew kept open a place for him in the squad for

But the struck and sidelined him for seven months, and an erratic season this year failed to convince.

Without Goetze, ended up crashing out of the World Cup, failing to progress beyond the first round for the first time since 1938.

Even as Germany struggle to pick up the pieces following its disastrous foray in Russia, Goetze, with a series of setbacks behind him, says his own experiences can help his chastened national teammates.

"I might stumble sometimes but I'll never stop going. And neither should you," he wrote on Twitter, with a link to the commercial detailing his darkest days.

"I hope my story inspires you.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 13 2018. 19:10 IST