The World Cup winner believes he has developed into a better athlete in his first 18 months at the Allianz Arena
Mario Gotze says he is a fitter player at Bayern Munich than he was 18 months ago during his time with Borussia Dortmund.
The talented attacking midfielder signed a four-year deal with the Bavarians in the summer of 2013 when they paid his €37 million contract clause, ending his 12-year association with BVB.
Intense competition for places and intermittent injury issues threatened to plague the Germany international’s opening campaign under Pep Guardiola’s wing.
However, Gotze was a regular starter by the end of 2013-14 and capped a solid season with Bayern by scoring the winning goal in the World Cup 2014 final in extra-time for Joachim Low’s men.
“My first year in Munich was definitely not easy,” Gotze told ESPN. “When I came here, Bayern had just won the treble.
“I was injured, then I played two games and was injured again for the following three matches. I spent three or four months living in a hotel. All of this, combined with adjusting from life at Dortmund, made it very difficult for me. But I think I’ve adapted quite well.
He added: “I would not say that I’ve changed that much, but I’m in better shape than I was 18 months ago. Fitness is the most important aspect in this sport. You’ve got to feel good.
“There are many things that I want to do, I want to always improve and develop here, and Guardiola is the right coach to do this under.”
Gotze and his Bayern colleagues face Hamburg on Saturday as they look to maintain their eight-point lead over Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.