The Top Thirty

With just over a month until the start of the World Cup finals in Brazil this summer and after much media chit-chat and speculation, Nationaltrainer Joachim Löw has finally named his preliminary squad of thirty players for the tournament – as well as a smaller squad of eighteen for first of the Nationalmannschaft’s pre-tournament warmup matches against Poland in Hamburg next week.

More on the Poland game – and the rather bizarre-looking squad – in the next article to follow shortly.

The first cut

Of the thirty players making the first cut before the squad is trimmed to the final twenty-three, most of the big names are there along with a number of untried youngsters – six to be precise – and there are a few surprises. Of the squad selected in March for the friendly against Chile, Bayer Leverkusen’s Sidney Sam and HSV’s Pierre-Michel Lasogga both miss out.

Since signing for Schalke 04 for next season Bayer Leverkusen winger Sam would see his domestic form for the Werkself drop away dramatically, while the unlucky Lasogga would be ruled out of what would have been his first international tournament by the muscle injury that would prevent him from making his debut for the Mannschaft against the Chileans. Poor form would also account for the absence of Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Max Kruse, who would be deemed surplus to requirements.

Perhaps the biggest absentee is striker Mario Gómez, but having been out for more than six months without any time on the pitch the Fiorentina man was always going to find it tough to merit a place – even with the dearth of specialist goal-getters in German football at the moment. On the other hand, defensive midfield lynchpin Sami Khedira makes the list despite only just returning to the training ground with club side Real Madrid after an equally long break from the game.

There’s also no place for veteran ‘keeper René Adler whose international career must surely be at an end, while Barcelona-bound Marc-André ter Stegen also misses out with rival Ron-Robert Zieler pinching the third Torhüter spot behind Manuel Neuer and Roman Weidenfeller.

Of the uncapped youngsters, there are no real shock inclusions with all having either been part of previous squads or name-dropped over the course of the domestic season. FC Augsburg midfielder André Hahn and Sampdoria central defender Shkodran Mustafi will hope to finally get some pitch time after sitting on the bench for the Chile game, while highly-regarded teenage Schalke 04 duo Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer will look to make the most of their opportunity to book their seats on the plane to Rio as part of the final twenty-three man Kader. The teenage contingent is boosted by the inclusion of Borussia Dortmund’s exciting young left-back Erik Durm, who has clearly earned a place in the national team setup with a string of impressive performances in both the Bundesliga and Champions’ League.

The last of the new boys is TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s Kevin Volland, probably one of the most promising young front men in the Bundesliga this season. Captain of the Under-21 side, Volland had been widely tipped for his international bow earlier in the season, but Lasogga’s injury would ensure that he was a shoo-in alongside veteran Miroslav Klose – himself also a recent returnee from injury. Of the six uncapped players, Volland probably stands the best chance of making the final cut.


Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München, 45/0)
Roman Weidenfeller (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 1/0)
Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96, 2/0)


Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München, 37/0)
Erik Durm (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 0/0)
Kevin Großkreutz (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 4/0)
Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04, 18/1)
Mats Hummels (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 28/2)
Marcell Jansen (Hamburger SV, 45/3)
Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München, 105/5)
Per Mertesacker (Arsenal FC, 96/4)
Shkodran Mustafi (UC Sampdoria Genoa, 0/0)
Marcel Schmelzer (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 16/0)


Lars Bender (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 17/4)
Julian Draxler (FC Schalke 04, 10/1)
Matthias Ginter (SC Freiburg, 1/0)
Leon Goretzka (FC Schalke 04, 0/0)
Mario Götze (FC Bayern München, 27/7)
André Hahn (FC Augsburg, 0/0)
Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF, 44/4)
Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München, 42/5)
Maximilian Meyer (FC Schalke 04, 0/0)
Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München, 47/16)
Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF, 53/17)
Lukas Podolski (Arsenal FC, 112/46)
Marco Reus (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 19/7)
André Schürrle (Chelsea FC, 31/11)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München, 101/23)


Miroslav Klose (SS Lazio, 131/68)
Kevin Volland (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, 0/0)

The Top Thirty

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