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15.07.2016Bayer 04

Bender and Brandt off to Rio

Germany coach Horst Hrubesch confirmed predictions on Friday afternoon: Lars Bender and Julian Brandt are in the 18-man squad for the Olympic Games in Brazil.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Lars Bender joins his twin brother Sven (Borussia Dortmund) and SC Freiburg’s Nils Petersen as one of three players over the age of 23. Julian Brandt, who just failed to make the final squad for Euro 2016, is an almost certain first choice in the Germany line-up. “Neither of us are getting any younger so it’s great to be playing together in a big tournament like that. It’s a brilliant story for us because you only normally only get a chance like that once as a player,” said Lars Bender commenting on being selected along with his twin brother Sven. The pair won the Under-19 European Championships in 2008.

Germany’s group matches in Rio are against Mexico (4 August), South Korea (7 August) and Fiji (10 August). The Germany Olympic squad have a three-day training camp in Frankfurt from 28 July before setting off for Brazil on 30 July.

It is clearly not an ideal situation for Roger Schmidt to be without Bender and Brandt in the run-up to the new season. However, it is not an insurmountable issue for the Werkself head coach. “Of course, Lars is our captain but it is probably his final opportunity to take part in an event like that. Lars knows how we play inside out so it won’t be a problem for either of us. The tournament will be good for Julian. And both will be back for the start of the Bundesliga ,” added Schmidt.

Schreier and Hörster lead the way

The last German goalscorer at the Olympic Games was a Bayer 04 player. Christian Schreier netted the third goal in a 3-0 win against Italy in the third-place play-off in Seoul in 1988. Thomas Hörster and Schreier, the two Werkself pros, returned from South Korea with bronze medals. Bender and Brandt are now in the hunt for medals.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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