Mario Gotze has rejoined Borussia Dortmund – and quickly apologised to supporters for leaving to join bitter rivals Bayern Munich back in 2013.
The German midfielder has decided to return to the team he came through the youth ranks with after finding first-team opportunities limited during his three years with Bayern.
Still just 24, Gotze had the option of moving to the Premier League, with both Liverpool and Spurs credited with strong interests in him, but he opted to stay in Germany despite many Dortmund supporters reacting angrily to his decision to leave initially.
He aims to make it up to them, and said in a statement to the Dortmund official website: “When I switched from BVB to Bayern in 2013, that was a conscious decision that I will not hide from myself today.
“Three years later, and with 24 years of age, I look with different eyes at my decision. I can understand why so many fans did not understand my decision.
“Looking back at it, I wouldn’t do that again! When I return to my home, I want to try to please all people – especially those who did not receive me back with open arms – and to convince them with my performances. My aim is to play my best football again. For all of us, the club and the BVB fans.”
Gotze joined the Dortmund youth academy for the first time when he was just eight-years-old and his new contract will run until the summer of 2020.
But can he rebuild his relationship with the Dortmund faithful? That remains to be seen.
What do you make of Gotze’s comments, and his transfer to Dortmund?