Ahead of the German Super Cup against FC Bayern München on Sunday, Borussia Dortmund have asked their fans not to boo Mario Gotze and Mats Hummels.
Gotze recently returned to BVB Dortmund after an ill-fated stay at Bayern, while Hummels joined the Bundesliga champions ahead of this season after spending nearly a decade at the Westfalenstadion Stadium.
BVB general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke says it would be unfair for the fans to give Gotze a hard time as he believes the German international striker has not behaved differently to most footballers.
“I never under never understood why Mario received such a bashing,” Watzke told Bild. “After all, he didn’t do anything different from what Leroy Sane [who left Schalke for Manchester City in a big-money summer signing] is doing – and he is being hailed.
“Gotze was the centrepiece of our youth development and we were very disappointed when he left. However, he didn’t do anything wrong.”
Watzke also urged his team’s supporters to consider Hummels’ contribution to the club.
“I hope that will not happen. Mats was a pillar of this team for eight-and-a-half years, as a footballer as well as a character.”
David Alaba, Gotze’s former teammate at Bayern München, has also voiced his support:
“I think he did a lot for BVB Dortmund and their fans in the past. I hope they will show him gratitude for that [winning the title twice in his previous spell at the club].
“I’m sure Mario will offer BVB fans many precious moments in the future. It is no secret what a world class player he is.”