2014 World Cup hero Mario Goetze makes a shock return to Germany’s squad for the World Cup. — AFP pic
FRANKFURT, Nov 10 — Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus has been omitted by head coach Hansi Flick from Germany’s squad for the World Cup, while 2014 World Cup hero Mario Goetze makes a shock return.
“We’re looking forward to seeing him,” Flick said of 30-year-old Goetze, who last played for Germany five years ago.
“We have a very good squad we can take with us” Flick said today in Frankfurt.
Flick also selected uncapped duo Werder Bremen striker Niklas Fuellkrug and 17-year-old Dortmund forward Youssoufa Moukoko.
While Moukoko has represented his country at junior level, this is the first time Fuellkrug, 29, will don a Germany shirt.
“He is someone who is constantly trying to improve” Flick said of Fuellkrug, “he gives the team the confidence that anything is possible”.
Alongside Reus, there were several high-profile absences in the squad, including Reus’ Dortmund teammate Mats Hummels and Inter Milan wing-back Robin Gosens.
Former Chelsea striker Timo Werner was ruled out in early November due to a leg injury.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has overcome recent shoulder issues to be named captain, while his veteran Bayern Munich teammate Thomas Mueller has been included despite a back issue which has restricted his appearances since late September.
Flick confirmed Reus would miss the tournament due to an ankle problem he suffered in September.
Reus, 33, missed the 2014 World Cup due to a foot injury picked up in the last friendly before leaving for South America, while he was also cut for the 2016 Euros due to fitness issues.
Reus played his only World Cup in Russia in 2018, scoring one of Germany’s two goals in the tournament as they were eliminated in the group stage.
Reus’ absence ‘hurts us’
Flick said he regretted leaving Reus out of the squad, telling reporters “we had to decide whether to take the risk or not” with the star’s troublesome ankle.
“It just hurts us because we could have made good use of his quality.
“I’ve often said how much I appreciate him as a footballer. With the gifts he has in the final third, he is good for every team.
“We will miss him”.
Flick also hinted the squad was selected “with an eye on the future”, referencing the absence of Hummels, who has played 76 times for Germany.
“He is in excellent shape and is a very valuable player for Dortmund.”
Southampton centre-back Armel Bella-Kotchap, 20, was named ahead of Hummels.
Four-time winners Germany play their first match on November 23 against Japan.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (captain) (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona/ESP), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Defence: Armel Bella Kotchap (Southampton/ENG), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Christian Guenter (Freiburg), Thilo Kehrer (West Ham United/ENG), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Antonio Ruediger (Real Madrid/ESP), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Niklas S?le (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfield and forwards: Karim Adeyemi (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Niclas Fuellkrug (Werder Bremen), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Mario Goetze (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City/ENG), Kai Havertz (Chelsea/ENG), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Youssoufa Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich) — AFP