FIFA World Cup™ holders Germany have unveiled their preliminary squad for Russia 2018, with Joachim Low naming a 27-man selection, as well as announcing he has signed a contract that will run until Qatar 2022.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was included, even though he has not featured since September, while the man who scored the winner at Brazil 2014 – Mario Gotze – missed out having slipped down the pecking order over the last 18 months. Low will be able to call on FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 adidas Golden Boot and Golden Ball winners Timo Werner and Julian Draxler, though.
Bayern Munich’s Sandro Wagner failed to make the cut despite having also been part of that Confederation’s Cup squad, but Freibrug’s Nils Petersen, who is yet to win a cap, got the call having netted 15 goals in the German Bundesliga this season.
Low, who has been leading the four-time World Cup winners since 2006, having acted as assistant at Germany 2006, will lead Die Mannschaft into his third global finals this year. His new contract, which expires at the end of the next World Cup in Qatar, would see him surpass the likes of Helmut Schon and Sepp Herberger as their all-time longest-serving coach.
All squads are provisional until the final list of 23 players is announced by FIFA, following their submission by participating teams, on 4 June.
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona, Spain), Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain, France);
Defenders: Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Niklas Sule and Joshua Kimmich (all Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea, England), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen);
Midfielders/forwards: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Mario Gomez (Vfb Stuttgart), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane (Manchester City, England), Sami Khedira (Juventus, Italy), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid, Spain), Thomas Muller and Sebastien Rudy (both Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal, England), Nils Petersen (SC Freiburg), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).