Luís Figo's switch from FC Barcelona to Real Madrid CF in 2000 and Andrea Pirlo's move to AC Milan from FC Internazionale Milano 12 months later were two of the biggest, most high-profile transfers of their time. Fast-forward to 2013 and the same can be said of the €37m deal FC Bayern München struck with Borussia Dortmund to sign Mario Götze.
The 21-year-old is the latest to have made that journey from western to southern Germany or vice-versa. Perhaps the most famous example is that of centre-back Mats Hummels, who, from the age of seven, worked his way up through the Bayern youth ranks but was deemed surplus to requirements by then coach Jürgen Klinsmann.
In summer 2009, and after a year-long loan, he moved to Dortmund on a permanent basis. The 24-year-old has since become an established German international and a key player at the BVB Stadion Dortmund, winning the Bundesliga twice and scoring in the Schwarzgelben's 5-2 victory against his former employers in the 2012 German Cup final.
Over a decade earlier – during which time Thorsten Frings donned both teams' jerseys – another old hand made his way from Bavaria to the Ruhr Valley. Christian Nerlinger was born in Dortmund but grew up in Munich, winning two titles with Bayern as well as the German Cup and 1996 UEFA Cup. Two years later, aged 25, he joined his home-town club.
Part of the Germany squad that finished runners-up to Denmark at the 1992 UEFA European Championship, Thomas Helmer signed for Bayern after the tournament. A cup winner with Dortmund in 1989, he enjoyed a successful spell in Munich, claiming three championships, another German Cup and a UEFA Cup winners' medal. He then helped Germany go one better than four years earlier at EURO '96.
Stefan Reuter and Jürgen Kohler became revered figures in Dortmund, but not before they celebrated a Bundesliga title triumph together at Bayern in 1990. After spells in Italy with Juventus, the pair helped Dortmund to championships in 1996 and 2002 under Ottmar Hitzfeld, who also guided the club to UEFA Champions League glory in 1997 – in Munich's Olympiastadion.
Not to be forgotten is Michael Rummenigge, younger brother of Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz, who left Bayern for Dortmund in 1988 after three title successes. A German Cup followed with his new club.
History shows players win silverware in both cities. Given Bayern's treble-winning exploits of last term, Götze will be confident of adding to the trophies he has so far collected in his young career.
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