EPPAN, Italy (AP) In a sign of Germany’s depth of talent, Leroy Sane was left out of the defending champion’s final World Cup squad on Monday.
The 22-year-old winger, who won the Premier League title with Manchester City and was voted young player of the year by the Professional Footballers’ Association, didn’t make the cut when Joachim Loew reduced his squad to 23 players.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer – who hadn’t played a competitive game since September until the friendly loss to Austria on Saturday – was included in the squad for the tournament in Russia.
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Neuer had been out with a repeat of the fracture in his left foot but played the full game against Austria, likely forcing Marc-Andre ter Stegen to the bench.
Bernd Leno was the goalkeeper to miss out, while defender Jonathan Tah and forward Nils Petersen were also dropped from the squad. Petersen made his debut against Austria but Loew is keeping faith in forwards Timo Werner and Mario Gomez.
”There are certainly better days in the life of a national coach than when you must send four great players home who would have deserved to be at a World Cup,” Loew said at the team’s training camp in South Tyrol, Italy.
Germany’s preparations continue with a friendly against Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen on Friday.
”You have to look at the big picture so we have a variable and well-balanced team prepared for all eventualities,” Loew said.
Germany plays its opening Group F match against Mexico on June 17. The defending champions will then face Sweden and South Korea.