Berlin: Borussia Dortmund star Mario Goetze has said his team can still catch Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, despite their commanding lead, ahead of Saturday's clash between the league's top two teams.
Second-placed Dortmund lag eight points behind in the table after Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Fortuna Duesseldorf and Bayern could extend their lead over Borussia at the top of the table to 11 with victory at Freiburg on Wednesday.
Dortmund travel to face Bayern at Munich's Allianz Arena on Saturday and the 20-year-old insists defending champions Borussia still have all to play for.
"We are still early in the season, everything can still happen and we are simply trying to put in a good performance to finish well before the winter break (on December 16)," Goetze said in an interview with Nike.
The Germany midfielder said he is relishing playing against Bayern's France wing Franck Ribery on Saturday.
"I believe he is always impressive whenever he is on the pitch," said Goetze.
"He has shown recently how important he is for Bayern Munich.
"He is a good player and it wouldn't be bad if he touched the brakes a bit against us.
"Of course, I am looking forward to the duel against an extremely good player."
Meanwhile, a report in the German media has revealed Goetze can leave Bundesliga champions Dortmund as early as next year -- for at least 37 million euros (US$47.7m).
He extended his Dortmund contract in March which sees him tied to Borussia until 2016, but a clause in his deal would allow him to leave in 2013 for a minimum of 37 million euros, reported German magazine Sport Bild.
He can also leave at a later date before his deal expires with a sliding scale of cost.
Goetze has attracted plenty of attention after Dortmund's impressive performances in the Champions League with the German champions top of Group D ahead of Real Madrid, Ajax and Manchester City.
Goetze's agent Volker Struth says his client has no plans to leave Dortmund next year.