May 20 – Veteran World Cup stars Thomas Mueller and Mats Hummels have been recalled to the German squad for the first time in more than two years after coach Joachim Loew included them in his 26-man squad for Euro 2020.
Mueller, 31, and Hummels, 32, both won the 2014 World Cup under Loew but were dropped as part of a shakeup following the disappointing early exit from the 2018 tournament.
But since their removal Germany’s fortunes have, if anything, nosedived including their biggest competitive defeat – a 6-0 loss to Spain – last November.
Both players have had superb seasons with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund respectively.
“You can interrupt an overhaul under the circumstances,” explained Loew, for whom this will be the last international tournament as German coach.
“A successful tournament is extremely important for German soccer, for the whole nation. That’s why we decided to bring Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels back. These players are respected and accepted by the younger players because of their great performances and vast experience. So from that point of view it was the right time.”
“We didn’t reach the targets we had in mind for 2019-20 with the pandemic, and the development we’d been looking for in the areas we wanted didn’t go according to the plan. So we said, O.K. we have to reconsider. There’s a tournament now, that’s above anything.”
“We want a team bubbling with ambition and passion. A team that gives everything on the pitch to be successful. That is our aim and you can feel it in the team that it wants to be successful at this tournament.”
Loew also included Monaco striker Kevin Volland, who has not played for Germany since 2016, following a strong season in the French league.
The Germans are in a tough group along with Hungary, holders Portugal and France, but play all three of their group matches in Munich.
“I have not yet set a goal for the tournament,” said Loew who includes six English Premier League players. “This time we don’t belong to the absolute favourites like France, for example, but this is not necessarily a burden.”
“For a tournament it is important to be focused in every game, every game is a knockout game. We play with France then against Portugal. So we want to survive the group stage. If you make the mistake of thinking of a second or third step in advance it may be an obstacle. If we get through the group and get into a flow then my team can achieve anything.”
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Defenders:Matthias Ginter (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Robin Gosens (Atalanta), Christian Guenter (Freiburg), Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Robin Koch (Leeds United), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich)
Midfielders:Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich ), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich)
Forwards:Kevin Volland (AS Monaco), Timo Werner (Chelsea)
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