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Sport

Goetze form could open door for Germany return-Bierhoff

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Borussia Moenchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund - Borussia-Park, Moenchengladbach, Germany - May 18, 2019 Borussia Dortmund's Mario Goetze looks on REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

BERLIN (Reuters) - World Cup winner Mario Goetze, who last played for Germany in 2017, has moved back into focus ahead of next year’s European Championships with a string of good performances for new club PSV Eindhoven.

Germany’s national team director Oliver Bierhoff said on Monday he was happy the 28-year-old, who left Borussia Dortmund for the Dutch club this season and has already scored twice in the league and once in Europe, had adapted that quickly.

“I am happy it has worked so well for him that quickly. It is not always easy to move from one country to another but he has high quality,” he told a virtual news conference in Leipzig ahead of three international matches.

Germany play Czech Republic in a friendly on Wednesday before taking on Ukraine on Nov. 14 and Spain on Nov. 17 in the Nations League.

“(Coach) Jogi (Loew) is as you know not a big fan of quickly bringing someone back,” Bierhoff said. “But if he (Goetze) continues playing well Mario can always be an issue for the national team.”

Goetze scored the extra-time winner in their 2014 World Cup final win over Argentina and won a total of 63 caps.

But he struggled in the past seasons to earn a starting spot at Dortmund and had fallen out of favour with coach Lucien Favre.

“We have high quality players up front but we will see how the season progresses,” Bierhoff said. “It will be a strange season (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). It would be wise to leave all our options open and see what happens in May before the nomination.”

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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