Germany midfielder Mario Goetze sees his 37 million euro (48 million dollars) price tag as an honour rather than a burden as he was on Tuesday formally presented by treble winners Bayern Munich.
Munich splashed out the big fee required to buy him out of his contract until 2016 with Borussia Dortmund, with Goetze reportedly heavily desired by new Munich coach Pep Guardiola, the former Barcelona helmsman.
This is the biggest fee ever spent for a transfer within the Bundesliga, but Goetze said it shows him in “the high esteem” he is held in. He however refuted all comparisons to Barca in general and Lionel Messi in particular.
“We have big aims and we have a very good coach. Comparisons with Barcelona are normal, but every player is prepared for that,” he said.
The Bavaria-born Goetze said the move was not so much a home-coming, but rather a logical step in his development as a footballer.
“I chose this path because it seemed the best one for me from a sports perspective. I don’t really want to call it a return home,” he said.
Goetze, 21, will soon move into a flat with his brother Fabian, who plays at third-division Unterhaching. He is still sidelined with a thigh-muscle injury, which denied him a final appearance for Dortmund in the Champions League final which they lost against Munich in May.
“I hope to return to the pitch as soon as possible and to play football again. It’s my ambition to achieve a lot with the club and to play good and beautiful football,” Goetze said.
Munich sports director Matthias Sammer praised Goetze as “an outstanding player”, and also noted “a lot of potential” in Jan Kirchhoff — another new signing from Mainz who was presented on Tuesday.
Sammer left it open whether Munich would make further summer signings.
“The transfer window is open for another two months. It is always possible that something will happen,” Sammer said.