Today was the much anticipated day of Jogi Löw’s decision. The 56-year-old national team coach told the press today which players he would send home from 27 men preliminary roster. Four players had to be chopped from the squad and Löw had one massive surprise in store for the press.
Fitness issues keeping Reus back once again
Borussia Dortmund start Marco Reus is once again missing a tournament through injury. Löw told the press that the 27-year-old had struggled over the last few days:
“All he could do of late was run in straight line, he couldn’t do anything else during the training sessions. We were sceptical regarding his capability of making it through such a demanding tournament. It’s a bitter call to make. If he’d been fit he would have been a massive enrichment to all of us.”
Reus has over the years established himself as one of the biggest stars in the Bundesliga, but injury has kept him back over the years. This is the third tournament the midfielder is going to miss due to injury. Reus had already been dropped from the national team due to injuries for the Wold Cups in 2010 and 2014.
At times the world seems to be a cruel place, as it is Reus’s 27th birthday today. The attacker’s exclusion from the team has certainly come as a surprise to both the press and the players themselves. Only hours before Löw’s press conference Reus’s mate Mario Götze tweeted the following.
— Mario Götze (@MarioGoetze) May 31, 2016
Rudy, Bellarabi and Brandt sent home as well
The other three players that have been dropped from the squad come as less of a surprise. Hoffenheim’s Sebastian Rudy has been useful over the course of the qualifying campaign, but despite the fact that he can play in all central midfield positions and on the right back Löw has decided to drop him from the squad. If the national team coach decides to play with a four men backline the place on the right now seems to be going to either Mustafi or Emre Can.
Additionally Löw decided to allow two of the Leverkusen players at hand take an early vacation. Both Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi have shown impressive form in the Rückrunde, but that combined with their performances during the training camp in Ascona hasn’t been enough to convince Löw to keep them around.
Schweinsteiger and Hummels are in
Both national team captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Mats Hummels are currently suffering from injury. So there question marks about Schweinsteiger making it all and Hummels is likely to miss the first match of the tournament according to several media reports. However, Löw decided to keep both players in his squad after talking to the DFB’s doctors:
“The prognosis for both Schweinsteiger and Hummels have been made. According to the doctors both players are going to be available for the tournament.”
Podolski to compete in his 7th tournament
Unsurprisingly and to the dismay of many fans, Löw has decided to keep Lukas Podolski as part of his squad. The 30-year-old has now 127 caps for the national team to his name and is now going to compete in his 7th big tournament for the national team alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The two of them join an elite club of national team players. Both Miroslav Klose and Oliver Kahn have competed in 7 tournaments for the DFB. However, neither Podolski nor Schweinsteiger is likely to catch up to Lothar Matthäus, who has competed for Germany in 9 international championships.
Goal: Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern), Marc-André ter Stegen (Barca), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen)
Defense: Jerome Boateng (FC Bayern), Jonas Hector (1. FC Köln), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke 04), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia), Emre Can (Liverpool), Antonio Rüdiger (AS Rom)
Midfield/attack: Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Julian Draxler (VfL Wolfsburg), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray Istanbul), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United), Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern), Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund), Mario Gomez (Besiktas), Mario Götze (FC Bayern), Leroy Sané (Schalke 04), André Schürrle (VfL Wolfsburg)