Germany will kick off the World Cup year with a slightly larger squad than usual. Joachim Löw has named a total of 26 players to face Spain in Düsseldorf on 23rd March (20:45 CET) and Brazil in Berlin on 27th March (20:45 CET). Eight World Cup winners and 17 Confederations Cup winners made the cut.
Head coach Joachim Löw on the squad: “We made a conscious effort to start this World Cup year with a larger group of players. It’s important to us that we concentrate on working with the players and to also start having more personal dialogue with them as well. We’re obviously aware that the next few weeks are very important in their clubs’ seasons. That is their priority right now. All the more important, however, is that they are aware of how critical these games are in our selection process for the final squad that we will take to the World Cup in the summer. Success and performance is the most important thing to us, so we want to see that the players are ready to give their all to achieve that. If we want to be successful in Russia, we have to regain the hunger and drive that took us all the way four years ago.”
One exception from the squad was Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus. Löw had this to say about the omission: “It’s very important to us that Marco is brought along slowly and that no further pressure is put on him. He needs to be pain-free and fully fit above all else. He also has to train and play regularly over an extended period of time to get back into a rhythm and through that build up his confidence.”
On the squad as a whole, Löw added: “We have a huge pool of players to select from for a lot of positions, but for others it’s not so much. For those positions we need players who are flexible and can play in multiple roles. However, the door for World Cup selection is definitely not closed, and there are some players who we will be keeping a watchful eye on over the next few weeks.”
Löw on the upcoming opponents: “The games against Spain and Brazil will be really tough tests against teams from the highest level of international football. These games are not about the results though, aside from a bit of national pride. I want to see how much passion we play with and how we put our tactics into practice. I have a lot of respect for both teams and they’ve clearly improved since the World Cup in 2014. Either country could very well lift the trophy in the summer.”
The preliminary World Cup squad will be announced at the German Football Museum in Dortmund on 15th May. Die Mannschaft will then start their training camp in Eppan/Südtirol on 23rd May. The last two friendlies ahead of the World Cup will take place on 2nd June in Klagenfurt against Austria (18:00 CET) and on 8th June in Leverkusen against Saudi Arabia (19:30 CET).
The deadline specified by FIFA to name a final World Cup squad of 20 outfield players and three goalkeepers is on 4th June. Germany are set to depart for Russia on 12th June. They will face Mexico (17th June in Moscow), Sweden (23rd June in Sochi) and South Korea (27th June in Kazan) in the group stage of the competition.