Guardiola: I love Mario Gotze, he’s a top player

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has lavished praise on Mario Gotze and admits he understands the midfielder’s frustration with his playing time.

Gotze has only started one Bundesliga match so far this season but scored Bayern’s second goal in the 3-0 win over Olympiacos on Wednesday after being named in the starting XI for their opening Champions League Group F fixture.

Guardiola insists he has no doubt over the World Cup-winning midfielder’s ability or attitude but says it is hard to find a place in his regular line-up given the form of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, who scored twice against the Greek champions.

“I love Mario Gotze, he’s a top player. He has massive quality and a good attitude,” Guardiola said.

“But I have Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. I can understand that he is disappointed, but I’m here to help him.”

Gotze himself believes Bayern can be hugely satisfied with their victory, even though they led by a solitary goal until the 89th minute.

“Three points against a good opponent, so we can be really happy,” said Gotze. “Muller obviously scored an outstanding goal.”

Bayern return to Bundesliga action against Darmstadt on Saturday.