Nationalmannschaft Newbie: Nadiem Amiri earns first Germany call-up

Bundestrainer Joachim Löw has given a first international call-up to Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Nadiem Amiri for the forthcoming matches against Argentina and Estonia. The Werkself midfielder is the only new name in the German squad and his selection is the culmination of quite a journey for the 22-year-old.

The son of refugees from Afghanistan in the 1980’s, Amiri’s parents ended up in Ludwigshafen am Rhein and struggled to provide for their two German-born sons Nadiem and Nauwid, and the fact that the younger sibling has been chosen to represent his country at full international level must fill them with immense pride (Nauwid now plays for FC Speyer in the sixth tier).

Amiri’s progress to the full side is a logical progression having been a successful part of the U-21 side for the past few years. This summer, as Germany reached the final of the European Championships, it was Amiri, who scored Germany’s goal as they lost 2-1 in the final against Spain. He has 24 caps for the U-21 side and has scored 6 goals.

A product of the Hoffenheim youth system, he made the summer move this season to Bayer Leverkusen for an absolute bargain €9 million.

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This season at the Bay Arena, Amiri has made five Bundesliga appearances with three of those in the starting XI. He has provided one assist thus far, has created two big chances and has a pass accuracy of 89%. He has been deployed mainly in the number 10 role as part of the three attackers behind striker Kevin Volland (battling former Hoffenheim team mate Kerem Demirbay for the role).

Speaking ahead of Leverkusen’s Bundesliga clash with RB Leipzig, trainer Peter Bosz admitted his pride in seeing Amiri called-up by Joachim Löw. “Nadiem Amiri deserves his call-up to the German national team and has earned it by putting in strong performances over a long period of time.

“I’m happy for him and he’s incredibly proud of himself” Bosz added.

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Mathew Burt

A year spent living in Bremen got Mathew hooked on the Bundesliga with regular visits to the Weser Stadion getting in the way of his studies. Back in the UK now, he still keenly follows the Grün-Weißen and German football in general. Follow him on Twitter @matburt74.

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