BERLIN (AFP) - Despite his goal-scoring performance in Germany's thumping win over Italy, Mario Goetze was left fuming by stinging criticism over his fitness and form from an ex-international on live television.
The 23-year-old Goetze scored Germany's second goal against Italy in Munich on Tuesday to brush off a frustrating injury-riddled season on the bench at Bayern Munich, where he has only made four league starts under Pep Guardiola this season.
His goal in Munich capped an impressive all-round display in the 4-1 win as die Mannschaft bounced back from throwing away a two-goal lead in Saturday's 3-2 defeat to England.
But Goetze was left fuming when German TV pundit Mehmet Scholl said Goetze needs "a helping hand to nudge him along" and "must work much, much harder" on his fitness after five months out with a groin strain.
"He said that? How did he come to that conclusion? Does he come to (Bayern's) training? Or did he just say that?" fumed Goetze. "If he sees it that way, I will take it to heart. I believe that I train enough."
Scholl's comments that Goetze needs a 'helping hand' is a thinly-veiled reference to reports that Liverpool are set to swoop to reunite the disgruntled Germany star with his former Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp, who helped nurture his talent.
Goetze has one year left on his contract and has also been linked to a return to Dortmund, who he left in 2013 after Bayern paid 37 million euros (S$56.6m) for him.
After scoring the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, Goetze was hailed as Germany's version of Lionel Messi, but nearly two years on, he has failed to win a starting place under Guardiola at Bayern.
"Lionel Messi does something over the 90 minutes, Mario does something when feels like it," commented Scholl.
Taking a clear swipe at Guardiola, the 45-year-old Scholl, an ex-Germany and Bayern midfielder, said Goetze plays well when "he can feel the trust (from his coach)".
Germany head coach Joachim Loew said Goetze earned his starting place up front against Italy by working hard in training with the national side.
But Loew has urged Goetze to talk about his future to Bayern's in-coming coach Carlo Ancelotti, who will replace Guardiola next season.
"Anyone who loves football just wants to be on the pitch. I play for myself and I live in the here and now," said Goetze, when asked where he will play next season.