4.06.2018Bayer 04

Julian Brandt off to World Cup in Russia

Julian Brandt is in the Germany squad for the World Cup finals in Russia (15 June to 14 July). That was announced by national coach Joachim Löw at a press conference on Monday afternoon. The two other Werkself pros, Bernd Leno and Jonathan Tah, who were also in the provisional squad and at the training camp in Austria, have been not made the cut from the original 27-man group.

For Julian Brandt, who played just under 70 minutes in the friendly against Austria on Saturday, it will be his first big, international tournament after he failed to make the final squad for Euro 2016. Last summer, the 22-year-old was part of the 'Mannschaft' that won the Confederations Cup in Russia. Löw said the Werkself number 10 had shown "good potential" and "also worked well here at the training camp." The offensive midfielder will wear the number 20 shirt at the World Cup in Russia – as he will in Germany's final friendly against Saudi Arabia at the BayArena on Friday (8 June, 19.30 CET).

Not included in the 23-man squad – consisting of three goalkeepers and 20 outfield players – are Leroy Sané (Manchester City) and Nils Petersen (SC Freiburg) plus the other two Werkself players Jonathan Tah and Bernd Leno. "There are certainly better days in the life of the national coach than having to send home four great players who deserve to be at the World Cup. We are, and remain, confident of their ability and quality. I've spoken to the four players and they're very, very disappointed. It wasn't an easy decision for us to make," read the statement from Germany coach Joachim Löw.

"A player for the future"

"Both Kevin Trapp and Bernd Leno are good goalkeepers. We opted for Bernd in the Euros and this time for Kevin. Both are at the same high level," said Löw in explaining his choice of third goalkeeper after the return of captain Manuel Neuer in time following a long injury lay-off to be first choice ahead of Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona). The World Cup winner of 2014 showed sympathy for the Werkself number one: "Above all, I'm sorry for Bernd that he has to leave now. We all know he's a brilliant keeper," said Neuer.

Most experts predicted in recent days that Jonathan Tah would not be in the final squad – and the Germany coach echoed that on Monday: "He was a bit of back-up for Jérôme Boateng but he has progressed well in his time with us. He's had a good season. He's a player for the future as he's a great talent. Like Nils Petersen and Leroy Sané, he'll be back in September as it's well worth carrying on working with these players."

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