Monday, 8th August, 2011

Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer has hailed Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Goetze as having the ability to match Lionel Messi in world football.

The 19-year-old has been linked in recent weeks with a move to Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson known to be keeping tabs on the progress of the German.

Indeed, earlier this year a bid of some €20M was mooted to be being prepared by the English champions, leading to Dortmund moving quickly to warn against any swoop.

And should Ferguson have needed any more encouragement to make a bid, Beckenbauer has provided it with his assessment of Goetze’s potential.

"It is not possible to stop Mario Goetze. He has the same assets as Messi", said Beckenbauer.

"There is no one playing better than him.

"He runs through opponents as though they aren’t there.

"He is an instinctive footballer, just like Messi."

Dortmund face a tough battle to keep hold of Goetze over the next few years, with more and more of Europe’s elite regularly sending their scouts to check on his progress.

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