DORTMUND: Mario Gotze, the Germany starlet facing a Champions League tug o’war, will not be able to play for Borussia Dortmund in Saturday’s final at Wembley after all.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder would have been playing his last game for Dortmund against the club he will join in the summer, new German champions Bayern Munich.
Gotze injured a hamstring in Dortmund’s semi-final victory over Real Madrid and was reported by the club to have suffered a setback in his recovery when he had to cut short his first training session back with the team on Tuesday afternoon.
Gotze said in a statement on Dortmund’s official website: “The final was my big goal and in the past weeks I have battled hard for it. I am unbelievably sorry that I will not be able to help the team in this important match.
“I have huge belief in our team and will naturally travel with them to London to endeavour to support the lads off the pitch.”
Gotze’s absence is a blow on one hand to coach Jurgen Klopp but may reduce pressure of distraction over the player’s state of mind in the circumstances in London.
Kevin Grosskreutz replaced Gotze in the semi-final second leg at the Estadio Bernabeu and would appear to be the most likely candidate to stand in for him at Wembley.