Mario Gotze criticism 'not fair,' says Germany boss Joachim Low
Germany manager Joachim Low has hit out at the critics of Mario Gotze, insisting that he should not be judged on his World Cup winning performances.
Despite scoring the winner in the World Cup final as Germany beat Argentina 1-0 this summer, Gotze has had a frustrating season at the Allianz Arena, which continued with a four-minute appearance in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to Barcelona in their Champions League semifinal second leg.
The 22-year-old remained on the bench for almost the entire game, despite Bayern's need to overcome a 3-0 first leg deficit to make it to the Berlin final, and he has clearly dropped down the pecking order under Bayern manager Pep Guardiola.
Bayern honorary president Franz Beckenbauer recently blasted Gotze and told him to "grow up." But in an interview with the official DFB website on Wednesday, Gotze's national team boss backed his player's quality despite recent criticism.
"I don't understand the partially unobjective discussion and criticism," Low said. "That's how it's like in our business.
"Not long ago Mario was the best Gotze of all time, our World Cup hero -- and now everything's bad. That's just too easy.
"It's not fair to measure Mario against his goal in the World Cup final, nobody can live up to those expectations. One thing is clear to me: Mario is an exceptionally-skilled player, a player who can make the difference."
Gotze, who is under contract at Bayern until 2017, said he had hoped for more playing time against Barcelona but refused to discuss his current state of mind.
"I would have thought things would turn out differently for me," he told Focus after Tuesday's game.
Meanwhile Low, under whom Gotze has won 43 caps and debuted at the age of 18 in November 2010, said that he has been impressed with the midfielder from day one, and thus has earned himself the "full backing" of the DFB.
"He can and will grow here, also [as] a personality," he added. "He is also allowed to make mistakes. Mario has a great future, at FC Bayern and certainly in the national team too. He is without a doubt one of the best footballers in the world."
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday evening, Bayern sporting executive Matthias Sammer said the club, for their part, had no plans to cut ties with the player.
"Mario Gotze has a contract, why shouldn't there be a future [at FC Bayern] for him?" he said. "He is a young player, and sometimes some things also need time."