Mario Götze made it. On July 13, 2014, he obeyed ARD reporter Tom Bartels. Götze, against a physical probability, took every pace from a truly sharp flank by accepting the ball with his upper body. After two steps he lay almost horizontally in the air and stroked the ball with the left into the far corner.

Even class strikers would have shot the ball over the goal from this position. The entire sequence of movements showed: It was no accident, here was an expert at work, an equilibrist. Many consider it the most beautiful goal ever scored in a World Cup final.

The flank came from André Schürrle. That came into play in the final against Argentina after thirty minutes for knocked out Christoph Kramer, from then on the Germans who had been slightly inferior until then were equivalent. In added time, the quick Schürrle with Mumm went into a running duel with an opponent and pulled a second one on himself. He created space for Götze and served him the ball, but also with his weak left foot. The two of them defeated the entire Argentine defensive.

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Six years ago, Mario Götze and André Schürrle made Germany the world champion with their goal. Now both World Cup heroes are without a club. Borussia Dortmund has not extended the contract with Götze, the one with Schürrle has been dissolved. How can it be that just the careers of the two players who managed this football artwork seem to be drying up, even though they are not even 30 years old?

The answer could have to do with the difference between real and felt quality. Schürrle's and Götze's history, their achievements, their true ability were always blended with the famous goal when Germany became world champion for the fourth time after an unusually long 24 years. At the time, Götze was 22 in an ancestry with Helmut Rahn, Gerd Müller and Andreas Brehme.

This led to its further increase in Germany. When he was 18, some people recognized him as the German Messi. Most recently, he was referred to in a column as "German Maradona". And for Schürrle, Wolfsburg and Dortmund each paid a transfer fee of 30 million euros and more.

Fans demanded Götze's substitution

He scored three goals in Brazil, including the important leading goal in the extension of the shaky round of 16 against Algeria. It was Schürrle's best time anyway when he was trained by José Mourinho in Chelsea in 2013 and 2014. He "made him a man," said Schürrle. At that time he was one of the best counterattackers in Europe, fast and with a good shot.

Schürrle was only a wild card at the 2014 World Cup, also because he rarely shone against well-staggered defensive lines. And Götze was often criticized during the World Cup, he was given a grade of 5 in the press. In the quarterfinals, he was only allowed to run for a few minutes, not at all in the 7-1 in the semi-finals against Brazil. After his substitution in the final in the 88th minute, the German fans in the Maracanã called for Götze's substitution in one or two scenes in which they wanted to recognize half-heartedness.

But then came the 113th minute. While the German team cheered, Tom Bartels also shouted: "This one moment for Mario Götze! Everything else doesn't matter." This sentence, live and immediate, contains more truth than the many Götze portraits that were to follow, in which the public puzzled and speculated why Götze did not meet the huge expectations.