Thursday, April 25, 2013
MARIO GOTZE FACES BACKLASH FROM BORRUSSIA DORTMUND FANS AFTER IMMINENT COMTROVERSIAL MOVE TO BAYERN MUNICH
Borrussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze went from prized asset to public enemy No 1 in the space of 48 hours, and he subsequently received a torrid time from fans on Wednesday night, following a bitter backlash over his imminent move to Bayern Munich, with their Bundesliga rivals agreeing to meet his 37million euro buy-out clause.
As anger and resentment towards Gotze mounted steadily, Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp intervened and appealed for calm, ahead of his side’s Champions’ League semi-final first leg at the Westfalenstadion.
Dortmund fans whistled every time Gotze was on the ball, even when they were revelling in a 4-1 lead against Jose Mourinho's shell-shocked Spaniards. Some supporters also held up signs saying 'Gotze raus', which translates to 'Gotze out' in English.
Gotze needed a police escort to and from training on Tuesday, and there was little sign of fans reconciling themselves to his departure.
A photograph posted on Twitter showed Gotze’s yellow Dortmund shirt hanging on a peg, with JUDAS scrawled across where his name should be.
On YouTube, there is footage of another Dortmund jersey, with his name and number on the back, being burned, in what looks like someone’s garage.
In a more sinister development, there were reports his younger brother returned home from school early, after suffering ‘traitor’ taunts, and that the family home had been spray painted by Dortmund ultras.
The extreme reaction underlines the unfortunate timing of Monday’s announcement, though Dortmund insist it was not their fault.
They were at pains to keep it under wraps but were forced to go public after chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke was alerted to top-selling German newspaper Bild having impeccably-sourced evidence that the transfer had been agreed.
Watzke was powerless to prevent the transfer going through, after Bayern chiefs met the release clause on the orders of incoming coach Pep Guardiola, and could do nothing about the story being published.
If it caused furore across much of Germany, it was met with bitter disappointment in North London, after Arsene Wenger set his sights on making the Dortmund forward his prime transfer target this summer.
In truth, though, it always looked a forlorn hope for the Arsenal manager, and when news of his interest reached Dortmund, the idea that Gotze might choose one of the Barclays Premier League title race also-rans ahead of top European suitors like Barcelona and Real Madrid was met with some cynicism.
Gotze himself indicated a preference for Barcelona, but then Guardiola stepped in, and the opportunity to play for one of the instigators of the Nou Camp’s free-flowing approach held a certain appeal.
Bayern’s gain is Arsenal’s loss, and Wenger will not be alone in rueing the Germany playmaker’s decision to stay in his homeland.
Such is his eye for a defence-splitting pass and attacking flair that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has long had him near the top of his transfer wish list.