Germany makes six new call-ups for Confederations Cup, rests stars
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Germany coach Joachim Low made six new call-ups for the Confederations Cup on Wednesday, opting to leave established internationals Marco Reus and Mario Gomez out.
Low, who said he was bringing a ''perspective squad'' to Russia for the June 17-July 2 tournament, nominated Borussia Moenchengladbach captain Lars Stindl, Hertha Berlin defender Marvin Plattenhardt, Ajax winger Amin Younes, Leipzig midfielder Diego Demme and Hoffenheim players Kerem Demirbay and Sandro Wagner, the latter earning his first call-up at 29.
''Sandro Wagner has his own way and means of playing,'' Low said of the forward whose 11 goals helped Hoffenheim reach at least the Champions League playoffs this season.
Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who has yet to play for Germany, was also called up again.
Only three members of Germany's World Cup-winning squad–Matthias Ginter, Julian Draxler and Shkodran Mustafi–were included, with Low opting to give many players a break with the main focus on defending the title next year.
''I see the toll that there is on our players, playing every three or four days,'' said Low, who said the demands of modern soccer risked shortening players' careers.
Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira, Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mesut Ozil are all being given a break, as well as Reus, who has had to contend with injuries.
Reus missed both the World Cup in 2014 and European Championship last year because of injury, strengthening his resolve to be fit for the next World Cup.
Injury has also ruled out captain Manuel Neuer (broken foot), Mario Goetze (metabolic disturbances), Ilkay Gundogan (cruciate ligament), Julian Weigl (broken ankle) and Benedikt Howedes (pending groin operation).
Asked if he was in favor of the Confederations Cup, a World Cup rehearsal with eight teams, Low replied: ''If there was no Confed Cup in 2021, I wouldn't be unhappy, and I don't think those involved would be unhappy either.''
Low stressed, however, that Germany will be ''as well-prepared for this tournament as if it were a World Cup or European Championship.''
Germany opens its campaign against Australia in Sochi on June 19, before games against Chile and Cameroon in Group B.
''The Confed Cup is a stepping stone for us to get experience,'' Low said. ''The 2018 World Cup and the way to Moscow is above everything.''
Low's selections were impacted by Germany's participation in the Under-21 European Championship, leading to consultations with Under-21 coach Stefan Kuntz on which player was better in whose squad.
''There are players that would have done both teams good,'' Low said.
Here is Germany's squad in full:
GOALKEEPERS: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
DEFENDERS: Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer Leverkusen), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Rudiger (Roma), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Niklas Sule (Hoffenheim)
MIDFIELDERS: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Emre Can (Liverpool), Kerem Demirbay (Hoffenheim), Diego Demme (Leipzig), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Lars Stindl (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Amin Younes (Ajax Amsterdam)
FORWARDS: Timo Werner (Leipzig), Sandro Wagner (Hoffenheim), Leroy Sane (Manchester City)