Germany coach Joachim Low has named a preliminary squad of 30 players for the World Cup, with Fiorentina striker Mario Gomez the biggest name to miss the cut.
Low will reduce his squad to “25 to 26 players” after the DFB-Pokal final and a friendly against Poland next week before naming his final 23-man squad at the end of the month.
“We’ve made these decisions for our 30 players with total conviction,” said Low. “It was a clear ’yes’ for each of these players.
“Of course we will have to send a few players home still and that will lead to individual disappointment, but those who are included should know that they are part of the German elite.”
Low chose to “take a calculated risk” on Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, who has missed most of the season with a knee injury, but he did not take the same kind of gamble on Gomez, who is just returning from his own knee injury.
Miroslav Klose, who has also had a troubled season with injuries, has also been included.
“Sami’s will, discipline and ambition have ensured we’re positive about his chances,” Low explained.
“He is one of those players who has a great deal of importance to this team, on and off the field. Of course we hope that we can feed him in to the high demands required of a World Cup.
“Miro is Germany’s record goalscorer and he could become the most successful scorer ever at a World Cup.
“He has always showed throughout his career how good he is at being ready when it matters and I have no doubt he will be able to do that again.”
Low will meet his squad next week, after the final round of Bundesliga matches, although the Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund players involved in the DFB-Pokal final will not link up with the side until they are already in their training camp in northern Italy from May 21.
There, Low will take a closer look at his players before deciding who to leave behind.
“I think we’ve got a good blend in our squad,” added Low, who has given first calls to Schalke midfielders Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka and Hoffenheim forward Kevin Volland, while Andre Hahn of Augsburg and Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi are included for the second time.
“I’m really looking forward to working together with these players and I’m convinced we will be well prepared.”
Germany preliminary squad:
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Erik Durm, Kevin Grosskreutz (both Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Andre Hahn (Augsburg), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Max Meyer (Schalke), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg)
Forwards: Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim)