Neuer in Germany's initial WCup squad

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail SHINE, May 16, 2018
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From left: Germany assistant coach Miroslav Klose, assistant coach Thomas Schneider, Germany head coach Joachim Loew, goalkeeping coach Andreas Koepke, assistant coach Marcus Sorg and team manager Oliver Bierhoff pose during a press conference in Dortmund yesterday.

Germany's first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was included in its preliminary World Cup squad yesterday despite being out of action since September but World Cup final scorer Mario Goetze was left out.

The 32-year-old Neuer suffered a broken bone in his foot and only returned to training days ago but Germany coach Joachim Loew decided to take 4 keepers to the training camp in the Italian Alps from May 23-June 5.

"We will see how it goes from day-to-day," Germany coach Loew told reporters in Dortmund. "What is clear is that without match practice to go into a World Cup is not possible.

"He knows that. We'll see at the end of the month or early June how things look and then we will have an honest discussion."

Loew left out midfielder Goetze, who scored the winning goal in the final against Argentina 4 years ago but has had a lackluster season.

"We saw that it was not his season, not the normal form with his quality," Loew said. "I think he has immense quality and he has proved this but he was not in that form."

Fellow Borussia Dortmund player Marco Reus' hopes of making his first World Cup got a boost after he made the cut.

Reus, who missed half of this season through injury, was ruled out of the 2014 World Cup after being injured in Germany's last warm-up match. He also missed Euro 2016 through injury.

"Marco is a special weapon, he has special gifts," Loew said. "He has great intelligence in the game and in the second half of the season he was in really good form. I expect quite a bit from him for the tournament."

Loew also opted to stick with the experienced Mario Gomez as his second-choice striker behind Timo Werner and picked Freiburg's Nils Petersen ahead of Sandro Wagner. The 30-year-old Wagner has scored 4 goals in his 8 internationals and was part of last year's Confederations Cup-winning team.

Germany faces Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in World Cup Group F. It plays its last warm-up games against Austria on June 6 and Saudi Arabia on June 8.

Earlier, Loew agreed to extend his contract with the world champion to 2022.

Loew, whose current deal runs out in 2020, has been in charge for 12 years.

"This is a big responsibility to continue developing players," the 58-year-old said after German football association, or DFB, president Reinhard Grindel said they had agreed to extend their current deal by 2 more years.

Loew has been in charge for 160 matches, winning 106, more than any other Germany coach.

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