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09th Jun 2018

Mario Götze: ‘Pep Guardiola lacks empathy. Jürgen Klopp taught me everything’

He's had the privilege to play under both managers

Reuben Pinder

It’s clear whom he prefers

Surprisingly few players have had the privilege to be coached by both Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp. Mario Götze was the first player to cross the divide between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich during Pep’s time in Germany. In fact, he was Bayern’s first signing of that era.

Götze’s arrival at Bayern was supposed to mark the start of a new era for the club. The team would be built around technical, agile players like Götze, leaving the likes of Mario Gómez behind. As it turned out, Götze struggled for large spells at Bayern, and his time under Guardiola was not as magical as many had envisaged.

Götze eventually returned to Borussia Dortmund, but his best form came during his first spell there under Jürgen Klopp, whose Dortmund side won two Bundesliga titles and made it to the Champions League final in 2013, which they lost to Bayern. Götze watched that game from the sidelines, as his current team struggled without him against his future employers.

Having played under both, the German is in no doubt as to which manager he prefers. In an interview with, Götze laid into Guardiola’s man management style, while praising Klopp for elevating him as a player to the top level.

“I’m still in touch with Jürgen.

“Of course, he taught me everything about professional football. At that time, I was just 17 and coming up from the youth team. He introduced me to everything. He let me play.”

When conversation turned towards Pep Guardiola, Götze was less complimentary.

“Technically, [Guardiola] was a tremendous asset,” he said. “But he is very focused on the game and doesn’t think about players outside of his plan. He didn’t have much empathy, and empathy is part of being a world-class coach.”

Götze has had to work hard to overcome a metabolic illness that severely hindered his progress as a footballer. His poor form has cost him a place in the Germany squad for this summer’s World Cup, despite scoring the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina.