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The surprise: Loew drops injured Reus

UEFA Euro 2016

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Marco Reus (Dortmund), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi (both Leverkusen) did not survive Joachim Loew’s cut. “These decisions hurt me too”, Loew said after his selection. But the German national coach nominated Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mats Hummels, despite injuries, for the 23-player squad for the 2016 European Championship.

Marco Reus alights from the team bus in front of hotel Giardino at Ascona. The Dortmund player missed making the final DFB squad for EURO 2016 due to injury. (Photo: Imago)


Ascona. It was raining cats and dogs when the profoundly unhappy birthday boy Marco Reus and his fellow sufferers Sebastian Rudy, Karim Bellarabi and Julian Brandt left the team hotel at Ascona. The weather in the Ticino, with low clouds and downpours, corresponded with the mood. “Arrivederci” said the employees of hotel Giardino at the departure. The four players had been informed, first in one-to-one interviews and later in the presence of the entire squad, that they will not participate at the 2016 European Championship. “These decisions hurt me too”, said national coach Joachim Loew, adding: “It is a particularly bitter decision for Marco Reus. But he has massive health problems. He can only run straight. Otherwise he would have been an enormous asset for our EURO squad”, was how the 56-year-old described the biggest surprise in his cut. Health did not play a major role for Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mats Hummels. Loew retained both injured players in his now 23-player squad.

World Cup champions Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels (from left) are in national coach Joachim Loew’s squad for EURO 2016. (Photo: Imago)


Schweinsteiger and Hummels were important pillars during the World Cup triumph in Brazil. Reus had already missed the 2014 World Cup, due to an injury suffered in the friendly against Armenia (6-1) the day before the departure to Rio de Janeiro. Two years ago it was a ruptured tendon in the ankle joint that stopped the quick midfielder. He had been included in the 2010 World Cup squad but then missed his international debut against Malta (6-0) in Aachen due to an injury. Now he is plagued by consistent adductor problems with a tendency to inflame. Last week Loew’s assistant Andreas Koepke had announced Reus would break off training as a “preventive measure” due to a slight strain.


Reus had steadily built up his fitness in Dortmund in order to be truly fit for the DFB Cup final at the end of the season. But the German Football Association’s (DFB) medical staff were conscious of the possibility he could be their constant patient for the entire duration of the European Championship (June 10-July 10). The longed-for OK from physicians Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt and Josef Schmitt failed to materialise. Reus’s 27th birthday could hardly have been more bitter. It probably was the hardest of many deep hits for Reus, who despite his exceptional performance is still missing a title in now four finals during his career.

Prior to the 2014 World Cup: Changes still possible

“It always hurts when you have to tell four players they are going home. It’s no easy situation for the team-mates either”, said deputy captain Sami Khedira. The mood in the team was indeed somewhat gloomy. But other old hands were allowed to stay. “The doctors have confirmed that Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mats Hummels will be fit for the tournament”, Loew reasoned when explaining the nomination of the slightly worse-for-wear veterans. Captain Schweinsteiger can allegedly return to team training. Hummels will take longer, possibly not until moving to the European Championship base at Evian next Tuesday.

National coach Joachim Loew (right) and deputy captain Sami Khedira arrive for the press conference where the European Championship squad was announced, at Ascona on Tuesday, May 31. (Photo: Imago)


As with Reus, an injury was one of the reasons for Bellarabi being omitted. He suffered a strain during the training match against the German U20 juniors last Thursday. The Leverkusen player, and Hoffenheim’s Sebastian Rudy, have each played ten of the total 18 international matches since the 2014 World Cup finals. Rudy was even in the squad of all ten European qualifiers, and cashed a 200,000 Euros bonus along with Jerome Boateng, Lukas Podolski and Mario Goetze. But it wasn’t enough for the 26-year-old to succeed Philipp Lahm in right defence in France. Rudy plays in a different position for his club. Loew ultimately selected relatively easy nominees for the cut, with none holding strong preferences. Now Emre Can of Liverpool FC can become the first choice for the right defence – or Loew can resort to Shkodran Mustafi or Benedikt Hoewedes.

Karim Bellarabi (left) and Sebastian Rudy during training in Ascona. Despite their respective 10 international matches since Brazil 2014 both players were not nominated for EURO 2016. (Photo: Imago)


Besides a muscle injury Bellarabi also suffered from the increased competition. Leroy Sané, the shooting star of the season from Schalke, can fill the right wing position with ease. That’s also Julian Brandt’s role, whose ousting Loew had hinted at in the past few days. It was bad luck for the young Leverkusen player that he could not shine during the “water-polo” match against Slovakia because of the difficult conditions. Loew left Julian Weigl (Dortmund) and Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern) in his squad after their debuts against Slovakia. The youngsters should bring carefreeness and pace into the training sessions and thus push the experienced players if they show signs of taking matters too easily.

The squad of the 23 players, whom the German Football Association (DFB) had to name to the European Football Association (UEFA) by 23:59hrs CEST on Tuesday, is not yet final. Should one or several players get injured during the friendly against Hungary at Gelsenkirchen on Saturday, changes would still be possible. The DFB physicians would have to attest that the players are not fit to play. Two years ago Mustafi was the lucky guy to benefit from that regulation. Loew dropped him from his tentative squad but then Reus got injured and the defender succeeded – and even played in Brazil.


The squad



Shirt       Name             Date of birth        Club       Caps        Goals
12Bernd Leno04.03.1992Bayer 04 Leverkusen     10
1Manuel Neuer27.03.1986Bayern München640
22Marc-André ter Stegen     30.04.1992FC Barcelona60


Shirt       Name                                  Date of birth         Club                               Caps        Goals
17Jérôme Boateng03.09.1988Bayern München580
14Emre Can12.01.1994FC Liverpool50
3Jonas Hector27.05.19901. FC Köln131
4Benedikt Höwedes29.02.1988FC Schalke 04332
5Mats Hummels16.12.1988Borussia Dortmund464
2Shkodran Mustafi17.04.1992FC Valencia100
16Antonio Rüdiger03.03.1993AS Rom100


Shirt       Name                                  Date of birth         Club                                Caps         Goals
11Julian Draxler20.09.1993VfL Wolfsburg181
6Sami Khedira04.04.1987Juventus Turin595
21Joshua Kimmich08.02.1995Bayern München10
18Toni Kroos04.01.1990Real Madrid6411
13Thomas Müller13.09.1989Bayern München7031
8Mesut Özil15.10.1988FC Arsenal7219
10Lukas Podolski04.06.1985Galatasaray Istanbul12748
9André Schürrle06.11.1990VfL Wolfsburg5120
7Bastian Schweinsteiger01.08.1984Manchester United11423
15Julian Weigl08.09.1995Borussia Dortmund10


Shirt       NameDate of birthClubCaps         Goals
23Mario Gómez                      10.07.1985          Besiktas Istanbul                6327
19Mario Götze03.06.1992Bayern München5117
20Leroy Sané11.01.1996FC Schalke 0420