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Watch: Germany's answer to Lionel Messi in action

A 19-year-old Dortmund youngster has caused critics to reach for the superlatives following the instrumental role he played in his side’s 3-1 win over Hamburg.

Goetze was on target as Dortmund beat Hamburg.
Goetze was on target as Dortmund beat Hamburg.

Who is he? Mario Goetze, a 19-year-old German midfielder whose series of dazzling performances for Borussia Dortund have caught the attention of critics.

Why is he in the news? He recently starred in Borussia Dortmund’s recent 3-1 win over Hamburg, scoring once and making two assists, consequently prompting rave reviews for the youngster.

What they say about him: “It is not possible to stop Mario Goetze. He has the same assets as Messi” – Franz Beckenbauer; “One of the best talents we’ve ever had” – Matthias Sammer.

What Goetze has to say about the hype: “I have learned I can no longer just do anything I want. Sometimes it sucks when you just want peace and quiet to do something normal like go to the cinema.”

What’s he actually done in his career so far? Since 2009, Goetze has played 39 times for Dortmund and scored 7 goals. He also has six caps for Germany and was a regular in the Bundesliga-winning Dortmund side last year. He helped Germany win the U17 European Championship in 2009 and made Kicker’s Bundesliga team of the year last season. He also became the youngest German international since Uwe Seeler, making his debut as an 18-year-old against Sweden.

Who is he being linked with? Man United, Arsenal and Chelsea have all predictably been said to have expressed an interest in the prodigious 19-year-old, however Goetze has expressed surprise at such talk and has not indicated any desire to move away from Dortmund.

Should we believe the hype? It’s difficult to say. Young players have failed to deliver on their initial huge promise before. Remember Danny Cadamarteri, for example? Even someone like George Best arguably never fully fulfilled his potential. However, if he keeps performing as he does in the video below, there is now doubt he’ll be a star of Messi-esque proportions.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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