Germany coach Löw picks 7 Bayern players
Seven Bayern players are in Germany's provisional squad for the World Cup in Russia (14 June to 15 July). 30 days ahead of the start of the tournament, Germany coach Joachim Löw has called up Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Thomas Müller and Sebastian Rudy to his 27-man squad. Sandro Wagner, who also hoped for a place in the squad, did not get the call but former Bayern player Nils Petersen (SC Freiburg) has been called up.
"Last night I spoke to all the players not in the squad," explained Löw, "Sandro has shown us what he can do. He played for us with full commitment and he has a very, very good character. In the end, minor factors were decisive."
Focus on Neuer
The Germany squad meet up for a training camp in South Tyrol on 23 May (29 June). Two friendlies against Austria (2 June in Klagenfurt) and Saudi Arabia (8 June in Leverkusen) are planned before setting off for Russia. These games will be particularly important for Manuel Neuer said Löw: "It won't be possible to go to the World Cup without match practice," FCB and Germany captain Neuer has been sidelined since September with a broken metatarsal. He completed his first full training session with the rest of the team in Munich on Tuesday.
"At the moment it's all looking good," said Löw who has been in "constant contact" with Neuer over recent weeks. "The injury is completely healed. Manual says he can do everything required." Neuer will face further scrutiny at the training camp. "We are giving him time. He is our captain and we hope he can succeed in being 100 per cent fit." The deadline for the World Cup is on 4 June. Löw will have to reduce his squad to 23 players at that point.
James leads Colombia team
In addition to the German international players, two other FCB pros have been called up for their respective provisional squads. Midfielder James Rodriguez has been called up to the 35-man Colombia squad by national coach José Pekerman. The 26-year-old was the top scorer at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with six goals. Colombia face Japan, Poland and Senegal in Russia.
Lewandowski in Poland squad
No surprises in Poland either as Robert Lewandowski is called up to the provisional World Cup squad by national coach Adam Nawalka as captain. 35 players have been selected.