Die Mannschaft – Closing out the year

After a strange 2015 that saw the Nationalmannschaft clinch their place in next year’s European Championship finals on the last day of their qualifying campaign, they close out the year with two prestige friendlies. First up are Euro 2016 hosts France in Paris, followed by a meeting in Hannover with old rivals the Netherlands, who missed out on a major international tournament for the first time in thirty years.

There are a number of changes to the Kader, with coach Jogi Löw naming a twenty-five man squad that includes two brand new faces as well as a recall for striker Mario Gómez – now with Turkish club Beşiktaş JK and back in the reckoning after more than a year in the injury-ravaged wilderness.

Löw has named four goalkeepers for these two friendlies. Bernd Leno is named again alongside regular number one Manuel Neuer, and Hannover 96’s Ron-Robert Zieler will be looking to add to his six caps at his home ground as he replaces the rested Marc-André ter Stegen. The fourth name is new boy Kevin Trapp, the former Eintracht Frankfurt Torhüter now plying his trade in France with Paris Saint-Germain.

In defence Löw has retained the seven players selected for the last round of qualifiers, with the addition of the returning right-backAntonio Rüdiger, now playing in Italy for AS Roma after a summertime move from VfB Stuttgart. Midfielders Toni Kroos and Mesut Özil are both rested with VfL Wolfsburg’s Julian Draxler returning to the squad, and up front the injured Mario Götze makes way for the returning Gómez and the fast-improving Schalke 04 and Under-21 starlet Leroy Sané, the son of former Senegal international and 1990s Bundesliga stalwart Souleyman Sané.

The Mannschaft’s meeting with France is their first since the World Cup quarter-final last year that was settled by Mats Hummels’ headed goal, while the game against the Dutch is the first since the turgid goalless draw in November 2012. While the game in Paris is likely to be well contested as the Germany look to make it three wins from three against the French, watch out for more experimentation from the Dutch, a team in transition after their failure to make it through their Euro 2016 qualifying group – where they finished in fourth place behind the Czech Republic, Iceland and Turkey.

Goalkeepers:

Bernd Leno (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 0/0)
Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München, 62/0)
Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain, 0/0)
Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96, 6/0)

Defence:

Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München, 56/0)
Emre Can (Liverpool FC, 2/0)
Matthias Ginter (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 7/0)
Jonas Hector (1. FC Köln, 9/0)
Mats Hummels (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 43/4)
Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia CF, 8/0)
Antonio Rüdiger (AS Roma, 6/0)
Sebastian Rudy (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, 9/0)

Midfield:

Karim Bellarabi (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 10/1)
Julian Draxler (VfL Wolfsburg, 15/1)
İlkay Gündoğan (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 15/4)
Christoph Kramer (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 11/0)
Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München, 67/31)
Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray SK, 126/48)
Marco Reus (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 25/9)
André Schürrle (VfL Wolfsburg, 49/20)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United, 113/23)

Forwards:

Mario Gómez (Beşiktaş JK, 60/25)
Max Kruse (VfL Wolfsburg, 14/4)
Leroy Sané (FC Schalke 04, 0/0)
Kevin Volland (1899 Hoffenheim, 4/0)

This article was originally posted on Schwarz und Weiss.

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London-based but with his heart firmly in Fröttmaning, Rick Joshua's love of German football goes back more than thirty years and has witnessed everything from the pain of Spain '82 and the glory of Italia '90 to the sheer desolation of Euro 2000. This has all been encapsulated in the encyclopaedic Schwarz und Weiß website and blog, which at some three hundred or so pages is still not complete. Should you wish to disturb him, you can get in touch with Rick on Twitter @fussballchef. This carries a double meaning, as he can prepare a mean Obazda too.