Mario Götze, who will forever be known as the man who won the 2014 World Cup after scoring the winning goal in the final, believes the Germany team is poised for even more success in the future.
Götze, at 22, was the youngest goalscorer in a World Cup final since 1966 – a feat which won him Nomination for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award.
In an exclusive interview with Laureus, he said:
“We have a great squad and the next tournaments can be successful as well, but first we need to qualify for the European Championships and then go ahead. Playing for the German team is always an honour and we can be happy that we have so many great and skillful players and a real good mixture of young guys and experienced players.”
The German team has also been nominated for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award after the World Cup victory and the winners of both Awards will be announced at the Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony in Shanghai on April 15.
Götze was congratulated on his Nomination by Laureus Ambassador and respected coach Fabio Capello, who said: “Mario is a really good player, and he’s young, he’s talented.”
Götze said: “For me as a young football player it is a great honour to be amongst the other Nominees and great sportsmen. The Laureus Award is known worldwide and a significant prize. Since there are so many great sports people in the jury I really admire, it would of course be phenomenal to win, but let´s wait and see.”
The other Nominees are Marin Cili?, who won his first ever Grand Slam at the US Open, Daniel Ricciardo, who won three Grand Prix in his rookie Formula One year, Colombia’s James Rodriguez who won the Golden Boot in the FIFA World Cup as leading scorer, Mikaela Shiffrin, the youngest ever Olympic Slalom champion at 18 years 345 days, and the Swiss tennis team which won the Davis Cup for the first time.
Götze said: “It is an absolutely top line-up and for me to be amongst them is great. James Rodriguez won the Golden Boot in the FIFA World Cup and played a wonderful World Cup with amazing goals and his team [Colombia] was surprising as well. Now he is with Real Madrid and he is doing so well.”
Asked to recall the winning World Cup goal against Argentina, after coming on as a substitute after 88 minutes, Götze said: “I certainly will never forget this moment and the joy of the whole team, but everything happened so fast and I moved instinctively to score. When I went on [to the pitch] Joachim Löw said ‘let´s change the game and show the world that you are better than Messi’.”
However he also supports the choice of Messi as winner of the Golden Ball for best player in the World Cup. He said: “That was not my decision of course, there are several great players on our side and nobody could complain if someone from our team would have been awarded it. But Messi is an outstanding player and he absolutely deserves it.“
On the current football season, Götze is looking forward to a good end of the season with Bayern Munich. “It is great to be part of this team and I enjoy every training session. We all have the aim to win as much as we can and this is our common stimulation. We are at the top of the [Bundesliga] ladder and want to stay there till the end of the season, but we need to keep on going and concentrate on every single match.
“It is our aim to win the Champions League and I would love to win this trophy but we need to take one step after the other and if we make it to the final then everything is possible.”