August 26, 2016 8:04:10 pm
Three of the Olympic silver-medal team were called up by Germany on Friday for the friendly against Finland and the World Cup qualifier against Norway.
The three include Hoffenheim defender Niklas Suele, who is making his national team debut. The others are midfielders Julian Brandt of Bayer Leverkusen and Max Meyer of Schalke.
The match on Wednesday against Finland in Moenchengladbach is also the farewell game for former captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, who retired from international duty after the European Championship in France last month. The second member of that squad to retire, Lukas Podolski, is injured and will have his farewell match later.
“In Bastian, we are losing our captain and one of the pillars of the team,” coach Joachim Loew said. “He was enormously important on as well as outside the field. He will leave a hole but we have several established and experienced players. I expect them, and I know they will, (to) take over more responsibility, especially for the younger players.”
Germany visits Norway on Sept. 4 to open its World Cup qualifying campaign.
“Our goal over the next two years is to build a team that will be capable of defending the title in Russia,” Loew said. “We have many experienced players in our group who are the backbone of the team and who take responsibility. But at the same time we want to give young players a chance of showing what they can do.”
Defender Jerome Boateng, striker Mario Gomez, defender Antonio Ruediger and midfielder Leroy Sane have been left out because they are still recovering from injuries, as well as midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus, who missed the European Championship. Germany lost in the semifinals to France.
Leverkusen midfielder Karim Bellarabi returns after being left out of the European Championship team. Forward Mario Goetze, who returned to Borussia Dortmund after three indifferent seasons at Bayern Munich, retains his place although he will not play in the Bundesliga opener against Mainz on Saturday because of a hamstring injury.
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona).
Defenders: Emre Can (Liverpool), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia), Niklas Suele (Hoffenheim), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen).
Midfielders: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Wolfsburg), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Max Meyer (Schalke), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal). Andre Schuerrle (Borussia Dortmund), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United), Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund).
Forwards: Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Volland (Bayer Leverkusen)
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