Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze: I am finally back at 100 percent
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze says he is finally nearing his best form again and hopes to be recalled by Germany coach Joachim Low for next month's friendlies.
Gotze, 25, has not featured for the national team in almost a year, having struggled to maintain his form and fitness since scoring the only goal in the 2014 World Cup final victory over Argentina.
He returned to Dortmund in 2016 after a disappointing three-year stint with Bayern Munich but his second stint at the Westfalenstadion began poorly under coach Thomas Tuchel, and he was diagnosed with metabolic disturbances in February, ruling him out for the remainder of the season.
This term, under new head coach Peter Bosz, he has returned in a more defensive role in central midfield and has produced a series of solid performances for the Bundesliga leaders.
"I am finally back at 100 percent," Gotze, who was rested in the 5-0 cup win at Magdeburg on Tuesday, told Sport Bild.
Supporting my team pic.twitter.com/ROg3Zc0DUE— Mario Götze ⭐️️ (@MarioGoetze) October 24, 2017
While Dortmund have endured disappointing results in recent weeks, Gotze said "October has been a good month" for him personally.
"I have a really good feeling out there on the pitch," Gotze said. "I realise that I want to take on responsibility and that I can actually do so as well. The team gives me the trust."
After nine appearances for Dortmund in all competitions this season, Gotze said he feels he is also ready to return to the national team for their friendlies with England and France next month.
"There's still a bit time until then, but I would love to be part of the squad," Gotze said. "The Bundestrainer [Low] still calls the shots, though, but we've been in touch regularly."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.