Sat, 20 Aug 2022

By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Germany's 2014 World Cup hero Mario Goetze has a new outlook on life.

"I see things differently now. I have turned 30 this summer and all I want to do is to prove things to myself but to nobody else," the former German international said after signing a three-year contract with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Rarely has the return of a footballer after a two-year-long foreign assignment caused similar attention.

Newspapers, radio broadcasts, and TV news extensively covered the return of the former wonderboy who scored the winning goal in the World Cup final eight years ago.

Goetze turned into the country's youngest to score a winner in a World Cup final. The 63 times capped midfielder outpaced Germany's 1954 all-time icon Helmut Rahn (24) by two years.

When being sent on the pitch as a substitute against Argentina, former German national coach Joachim Loew told Goetze to prove "you are better than Messi."

A glorious career seemed guaranteed, but a load of expectations triggered a jack-knifing effect for the youngster.

The changes created a difficult story containing all sorts of tragic elements.

Having failed in Dortmund and Bayern, a wild escape seemed the only way out of his tricky situation while some spoke of a career dead-end.

Goetze took a deep dive into the Dutch league and joined the PSV Eindhoven seeking somehow asylum under the protective wings of German coach Roger Schmidt.

Goetze's rescue mission paid off as he revitalized his sportive and private life.

Nevertheless, returning to the limelight of public attention on the German stage contains the risk of meeting past muddle again.

Goetze said he is prepared as he has successfully dealt with his past.

Returning to Germany seemed to come along with his deep desire to make his peace with the circumstances that for long burdened his daily life.

For that reason, the 2022 Dutch Cup winner turned down the offer to follow his former PSV coach Schmidt to Portugal's most famous club, Benfica.

For Goetze, it seems the right time to face the challenge to return.

German national coach Hansi Flick has written a message containing congratulations about his return after he made his last game in the Germany shirt in November 2017.

On August 5, Frankfurt will meet Bayern in the opener of the new season followed by the UEFA Super Cup five days later against 2022 Champions League winner Real Madrid in Helsinki.

Both games will surely bring enough international attention for Goetze. "It's for me to integrate into a well-oiled team and deliver my share," he said.

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