With his total alertness, readiness to receive the ball and capacity for daring strokes of genius at any moment, it is immediately clear that Mario Gotze is in his element at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. The German technician, already revered as a once-in-a-lifetime talent back in his homeland, now looks likely to make his breakthrough on football’s biggest international stage.
Over the course of the three-time world champions’ 4-0 opening match victory against Portugal, the 22-year-old proved himself to be a lethal attacking force capable of consistently wrongfooting his opponents. Nevertheless, Gotze is as cool and considered off the pitch as he is creative on it, making him the perfect embodiment of the new spirit in Joachim Low’s squad.
“It was important for us to take those three points [against Portugal], but that was all,” Gotze said to FIFA.com. “Our performance shouldn’t be overstated, as there were some things that simply went well for us. In some situations we were just lucky. It won’t be easy given that Ghana now need three points no matter what. It’ll be a very tough game, but we can be confident about it.”
“It’s really important that we cover every area of the pitch and always pick the right moment to move forward. Each of us knows what we have to do out there,” Gotze said.
The conviction in his face as he talks is as clear to see as the tentative grin that then appears. It is clear that he has no problems playing football under the gaze of the entire world in Brazil, and right now he is enjoying every minute of it.