Skip to main content

Dortmund's Gotze to miss Champions League final against future employers

By Piers Edwards, CNN
updated 3:41 PM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze will miss Saturday's Champions League final against future employers Bayern Munich because of a hamstring injury. Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze will miss Saturday's Champions League final against future employers Bayern Munich because of a hamstring injury.
HIDE CAPTION
Bitter blow
End of the affair
Clear message
Happier times
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dortmund's Gotze ruled out of Saturday's Champions League final against Bayern Munich
  • Midfielder alienated some Dortmund fans by agreeing to move to Bayern on 1 July
  • Dortmund also sweating on fitness of key defender Mats Hummels

(CNN) -- The answer to the question will now never be known -- for many football fans had been wondering how Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze would fare when taking on future employers Bayern Munich in Saturday's Champions League final at Wembley.

After both German teams booked their place in the final, supporters, journalists and former players had asked how the 20-year-old would handle a situation whereby he had the chance to shatter Bayern's Champions League dream but such thoughts now lie idle.

Read: Double trouble for the Bundesliga?

Last month, it was announced the midfielder was joining Dortmund's biggest Bundesliga rivals after the recently-crowned German champions activated his release clause with a bid of $47 million.

The move was criticized by many Dortmund fans, disappointed that a player who had been developed by the club's academy since the age of 8 was being lost so readily and by the timing of the news.

CNN Football Club: Bayern dominate Barca
Do Bayern Munich need Pep Guardiola?
Are German teams the best in Europe?

The announcement came on the eve of the opening leg of Dortmund's Champions League semifinal with Real Madrid, which the 2012 Bundesliga champions ultimately won 4-3 on aggregate to reach their first final in 16 years.

Gotze was highly influential in the first leg but tore his hamstring 14 minutes into Dortmund's 2-0 defeat in the return fixture at the Bernabeu on April 30 -- a game that has proved to be his last for the club.

"It was my big aim to play in the final and I have been working hard to reach that in the last few weeks," Dortmund's website quoted the German international as saying on Wednesday.

"I am incredibly sorry that I can't help the team in this really important game. I have full confidence in the team and will of course be going to London to support the boys from the sidelines."

The attacking midfielder had maintained hopes of playing in London until Tuesday, when he managed an hour of training in his first full session since April until an adverse reaction curtailed his dream -- and so perhaps his chances of repairing his damaged relationship with some fans.

For while the absence of Dortmund's main playmaker represents a major tactical blow for coach Jurgen Klopp, it has been welcomed by a section of the club's supporters.

The intensity of feeling following the April announcement found some fans burning a replica of his Dortmund jersey in online videos and others labeling him 'Judas' among other protests.

Read: Bundesliga boss hails youth policy

When hosting Bayern in a league match on May 4 that ended 1-1, Dortmund fans unveiled a massive banner reading 'The quest for cash reveals how much heart you really have, get lost Goetze'.

"What you find on the internet is that some Dortmund fans are not that disappointed that Gotze cannot play," said Peter Penders, a sports journalist with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine.

"A lot of them never wanted to see him in a Dortmund jersey again as they no longer saw him as the club's player after he signed for Bayern."

Alex Ferguson's recipe for success
How to manage like Alex Ferguson
Balotelli: I'm glad I left England
CNN FC: Beckham retires

"He had grown up at Borussia Dortmund and was seen as a player wholly created by Borussia Dortmund, which is why they were so disappointed."

When the transfer was announced, the charismatic Klopp revealed that Gotze's departure had hinged on the fact that former Barcelona Pep Guardiola, who will take charge of Bayern after this season, had identified him as a key player.

"The reason Gotze is leaving? He is the favorite transfer of Guardiola," Klopp told reporters. "So if it's anyone's fault, it's mine. I cannot make myself 15 centimeters smaller and learn Spanish. Gotze wants to work with this extraordinary coach that is Guardiola."

Despite the apathy of some supporters, Dortmund - who finished runner-up to Bayern in this season's German championship -- will miss the creativity of a player with 12 league goals and 13 assists in both the Bundesliga and Champions League this season.

"Gotze's absence is a major problem in attack because they have to change some other things," added Penders.

"Perhaps Marco Reus will take his position behind striker Robert Lewandowski, with Kevin Grosskreutz filling Reus' usual position on the wing."

Dortmund are also waiting on the fitness of defender Mats Hummels, who is receiving intense treatment on the ankle he damaged in Saturday's surprise home defeat by Hoffenheim.

Meanwhile, one of the players Gotze will link up with next season says Bayern must atone for final defeats to Inter Milan in 2010 and to Chelsea in their own stadium last year.

"We have to win for the fans, the club and the whole team," said Franck Ribery, who joined the Bavarian club six years ago.

"This is our third time, we have more experience, know what it means to play in a final, so it's nothing new for us, everyone knows what they have to do and how we have to play against Dortmund.

"The defeat to Inter was hard, but the loss to Chelsea really hurt, it was a huge shock for everyone," added the French winger.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT