Bayern Munich had hit a stumbling block of sorts, with three straight league draws ahead of their much-anticipated Champions League bash against FC Barcelona on Wednesday. The German media must have sensed blood in the water, and report after report came out alleging various forms of locker room discontent, including rumors surrounding midfielders Leon Goretzka and Ryan Gravenberch.
After the Barcelona game — a handy 2-0 win in tow — Goretzka, a half-time substitute off the bench following his recent injury return, took the time to bat down the tenor of these reports. And he emphasized that there was absolutely no bad blood between himself and head coach Julian Nagelsmann.
“I resolved not to say anything about it. A sentence of mine was used out of place,” he stressed in comments captured by Tz. “I have no problem with the coach or the fact that I’m not starting today. I was out for six weeks, then started, then it was clear that I wouldn’t play from the start. [Marcel Sabitzer] did a great job. These alleged problems in the dressing room are so contrived that it really annoys me. We get along great in the team.”
When those earlier reports came out saying Goretzka was displeased with not starting, there was an attached assumption that he was worried about his prospects with Germany at this winter’s World Cup. But Goretzka shrugged off such talk as well. “I haven’t thought about the World Cup for a second today,” he said. “Not until the international break, then I think about it briefly. But right now I just want to get fit and be successful with FC Bayern.”
There you have it — a player managing his first steps back, determined both to show good performances and to work well with his teammates. How’s that for a sensational story?
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