UEFA Champions League: Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze to Miss Final

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UEFA Champions League: Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze to Miss Final
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Borussia Dortmund have confirmed (via ESPN) that playmaker Mario Gotze will miss Saturday's UEFA Champions League final.

It's good news for Bayern Munich, who otherwise would have faced the uncomfortable prospect of playing against a future teammate. And it's also good news for fans of conspiracy theories.

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Gotze, a 20-year-old German international midfielder, is set to join Bayern Munich this summer in a €37 million transfer from Borussia Dortmund. In this week's build-up to the match, Gotze told Bild (via ESPN FC), "To win the final in my last game for Dortmund would be by far the greatest for me. I want to take part in the game in London, absolutely, and will give my all for Borussia. I want to help the team lift the trophy."

That will not happen now. Dortmund might indeed win, but Gotze will take no part after failing to recover in time from a muscle strain suffered in the second leg of Dortmund's semifinal win over Real Madrid.

Gotze played a key role in Dortmund's back-to-back Bundesliga title-winning sides of 2010-11 and 2011-12. This season he scored 10 goals and assisted nine more in 28 Bundesliga appearances. In the Champions League, he has recorded two goals and five assists in 11 appearances (via WhoScored.com).

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Dortmund and Bayern drew both league matches this season, but Bayern won the title in record style. Bayern reached the Champions League final last year as well, losing to Chelsea on penalties.

Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is set to take over at Bayern this summer, and according to B/R tactical analyst Sam Tighe, Gotze is an ideal fit to play as a "False 9" in the style of Lionel Messi.

That's a bold statement that hints at Gotze's talent and potential. Unfortunately for Dortmund, that talent won't be available against Bayern this weekend.


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