Mario Gotze says that criticism over his recent performances for Germany at Euro 2016 is “part of the game”.
Gotze endured a difficult season at Bayern Munich, starting just 11 Bundesliga games as he struggled with both injury and form.
But the 24-year-old, whose club future remains uncertain, has started both of Germany’s opening two games at Euro 2016.
The forward has been used as the country’s ‘false nine’, playing the full 90 minutes of the 2-0 victory over Ukraine, and over an hour of the goalless draw with Poland.
Gotze has had four shots on goal thus far, but has failed to score or provide an assist for the world champions.
He has faced criticism in Germany and elsewhere over his lack of presence as a striker, and some remain unconvinced over his future playing position.
“Sometimes you’re the dog, sometimes you are the tree,” Gotze said when asked of his reaction to his detractors. “That’s the way it is in football. Criticism is part of the game. We can all cope with it. We are all professionals.”
Bayern Munich threatened legal action against those who reported that Gotze was being ‘forced out’ of the club last week. Liverpool remain the frontrunners for his signature, were he to leave the Allianz Arena.