Germany coach Joachim Löw has named his final 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Four players have been cut from his original provisional squad: Goalkeeper Bernd Leno, defender Jonathan Tah, attacker Leroy Sané and striker Nils Petersen. The DFB successfully submitted the final list of three goalkeepers and 20 outfield players to FIFA before the official deadline.
“There are no doubt nicer days in life than when you have to send four players home that would have deserved to go to the World Cup,” said Löw. “We still fully believe in their abilities. I spoke to the four players and of course they are deeply disappointed. It certainly wasn’t an easy decision – it was very close. They all fought hard for their place, and that certainly added value to the team. You have to see the bigger picture; we need to be well balanced at a tournament and be prepared for every eventuality.”
The boss also spoke about his decision to take captain Manuel Neuer as his number one goalkeeper. “He has assured us that he feels 100 percent fit and that his foot didn’t cause him any problems against Austria. It’s good that the game was able to go ahead. Manu showed that he has reached a very good level.” Löw held final talks with Neuer on Sunday evening following an MRI scan that confirmed that his foot was fine.
From now, Löw is only looking ahead. “The final squad is confirmed, our focus is on Russia. You could tell that the team was a little tired after 13 or 14 training sessions, so it’s important to recover today, then we will crack on from Tuesday,” confirmed the coach. “The Austria game showed that there are still a few areas that we need to work hard on, but we will ensure that everyone is in peak condition for the first game. We’re focusing on Mexico.”