BERLIN, Nov 9 ― Germany’s World Cup-winner Mario Goetze hopes to use tomorrow’s friendly against England at Wembley to kick-start his international career after a year on the sidelines.
The 25-year-old wrote himself into German footballing folklore by volleying home the winning goal in extra time for a 1-0 victory over Argentina in the 2014 final.
Goetze had broken into the national team as a 19-year-old when he scored his first international goal in a friendly win at home to Brazil in 2011.
Since his magic moment at the Maracana in 2014, Goetze has struggled with injury and a debilitating metabolic disorder which sidelined him for seven months this year.
Having last played for Germany in November 2016, Goetze has earned a recall with a string of good performances for Borussia Dortmund.
Even though Dortmund has dropped 11 points in their last four Bundesliga games, Goetze has consistently been one of their best players.
Now he hopes to use the springboard of the prestigious Wembley match to force himself into contention for the World Cup in Russia next summer.
“I am really looking forward to it,” he said of the Wembley clash when he hopes to start in the attacking midfield role.
“It’s a great experience to be there again, I’m feeling really, really good and I hope I can play.”
With Bayern Munich star Thomas Mueller out injured, Goetze has a good chance of making the starting line-up at Wembley.
“I have played in a few positions for the national team. My favourite position is in the centre,” he said.
Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan is another big name recalled by Germany after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The defensive midfielder ruptured a knee ligament in December 2015 which cost him the best part of a year.
“They are both players with enormous qualities and we are really pleased they are back,” said Germany team official Oliver Bierhoff.
While the England squad has been slashed by withdrawals, Germany head coach Joachim Loew is missing Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng, who has a muscular injury.
Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is struggling with a gastrointestinal infection.
In Boateng’s absence, his Bayern team-mate Niklas Suele is set to partner Mats Hummels at centre-back.
The 22-year-old Suele helped an inexperienced German team, shorn of their World Cup stars, win the Confederations Cup in Russia last June.
Despite England’s injuries, Suele does not expect Gareth Southgate’s England to present any less of a threat.
“I think England, like us, have good players in the background, when Harry Kane drops out there is still a Jamie Vardy, who is very hard to defend against,” said Suele.
Germany have won their last six games at Wembley dating back to 1975.
Both teams will wear black armbands bearing commemorative poppy motifs as Friday’s match falls the day before the 99th anniversary of the Armistice signed by Britain and Germany at the end of World War I. ― AFP