Birthday Boys- Mario Gotze and Dan-Axel Zagadou


In today’s edition of the Birthday Boys we explore the careers of Borussia Dortmund duo Mario Gotze and Dan-Axel Zagadou.

Mario Gotze


The Borussia Dortmund midfielder, who looks set to leave Signal Iduna Park this summer, turns 28 today.

The midfielder joined the youth academy at Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2001 from Hombrucher SV Youth on a free transfer.

He would subsequently progress all the way from the Youth team to the U19’s and get his professional contract for Dortmund in July 2010 as an 18-year-old.

In his first full season as a pro, Gotze would make 41 appearances for the Yellow and Blacks scoring eight goals and assisting 16 times.

An injury ridden 11/12 season saw the midfielder only feature 26 times in the side as he managed to score seven goals and provide eight assists.

The 12/13 season saw Gotze return to his previous best as he featured a lot for Dortmund that season. 44 appearances under his belt as he scored 16 goals and provide 20 assists.

In the summer of 2013, Bayern Munich stole the midfielder from Dortmund as they paid £33 million for the highly-rated midfielder.

45 games in his first season at Bayern saw Gotze score 15 goals and assist 13 times. The next season saw him reach his personal most appearances in a season with 48. He managed to score 15 goals and seven assists that campaign.

Another injury hit him hard as he was sidelined for the most part of the 15/16 campaign. He would only appear in 22 games for the Bundesliga champions and would only be involved in ten goals.

In July 2016, Gotze returned to his old club but struggle to repeat the form which initially made him a star at Dortmund.

In his return to Dortmund he would only feature 16 times for the Yellow and Blacks in all competitions as he would score two goals and assist twice.

In the next three campaign including this season he would feature 87 times for Dortmund usually coming off from the bench and has managed to score 12 goals and add 15 assists to his Dortmund tally.

Internationally, he made his debut for the German national team in November 2010 and has gone onto make 63 appearances for his nation scoring 17 goals, most notably the winner in the 2014 World Cup finally to give Germany the trophy.

He’s a five time Bundesliga winner, a four time German Cup winner, a FIFA Club World Cup winner, a German Supercup winner and a UEFA Supercup winner.

Dan-Axel Zagadou


The French defender turns 21 today and has been a rock at the back for Dortmund in recent years.

He started his career in July 2015 making his way into PSG’s U19’s team and then a year later he made it to the B team of the French giants. The defender only featured twice for the U19’s and didn’t feature in any games for the B team.

In the summer of 2017, he would move to Dortmund on a free transfer. In his first season in Dortmund he would make 16 first team appearances in all competitions and managing to score one goal.

The next season he would feature 22 times as injuries carried to plague his career and this season he has made 20 appearances as another injury this season has sidelined him since the return of the Bundesliga in mid-May.

Internationally, he is yet to feature for the French national team but has made at least one appearance in each age group for France from U16’s to U21’s. His last appearance for the U21’s came in November 2019 as France were beaten 3-1 by Switzerland in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifying.

He has only won one career trophy so far in his short career as Dortmund won the German Supercup this season.


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EFL/EPL and F1 writer. @AdrianKitaMedia on Twitter for any comments regarding my pieces on Prost International.

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