Ottmar Hitzfeld Labels Dortmund Midfielder Mario Gotze 'One of Germany's Best Ever Footballers'
Former Borussia Dortmund coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has described Mario Gotze as "one of the best footballers Germany has ever had".
The midfielder emerged as one of Europe's most talented youngsters with BVB, before making a lucrative move to Bayern Munich in 2013.
Gotze scored the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, but his career in recent years has been significantly hindered by injuries and inconsistency.
Hitzfeld, however, is certain that Gotze will soon be back to his best now that he has returned to full fitness ahead of the new season.
"For me he is one of the best footballers Germany has ever had, when he is in shape, when he has the fitness he simply has the quality," Hitzfeld told Eurosport - via FourFourTwo.
"When Gotze is on the ball, something happens. He has a high game intelligence. He sees spaces, that others do not see.
"He can handle the ball as others just cannot do. And then he plays the crucial passes, as well as he is a goal danger.
"He has everything that distinguishes a top player."
Gotze was restricted to just 16 appearances in all competitions last season after being diagnosed with a metabolic disorder, having returned to Dortmund from Bayern.
The club's new coach, Peter Bosz, has stressed that patience is needed to bring Gotze back to his very best.
"As a football aficionado, it is really great fun to see him at work," he said. "Mario is a very good player, but we need to be careful with him: if you have been absent for five months, it is not possible to make up for that within five weeks."