German national team coach Joachim Löw has announced a 21-member squad including four newcomers for the upcoming international friendly match against Chile on March 5.
Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger returns to the Germany squad after missing out the last few Germany matches due to an injury, while Matthias Ginter (SC Freiburg), Shkodran Mustafi (U.C. Sampdoria), Pierre-Michel Lasogga (Hamburger SV) and André Hahn (FC Augsburg) received their first international call-up to the senior nationat team.
“With the World Cup approaching, we can’t and won’t make any compromises. We must do everything to ensure success. I’ve spoken to a lot of my players personally over the course of the past few weeks. Many of them, some of whom are key players, are still carrying knocks and are injured or have only just returned to action and haven’t yet got into their stride,” Joachim Löw told in an official release by the German FA (DFB).
“We now have the opportunity to act and to work on solutions and alternatives that’ll help us in the case of an emergency. This is why we’ve decided to bring in a few new faces, players who’ve consistently performed well for their clubs during the last few weeks and months. Our plans are completely focused on our first World Cup group match on 16 June, as we’ll need to be at the top of our game by the time we face Portugal. This will only be possible if all of the players with us at our training camp in South Tirol for the final preparations in two and a half months’ time are completely fit and in excellent shape, both physically and mentally.”
Talking about the newcomers in his team, Löw said, “We already had our eye on Shkrodan Mustafi and Matthias Ginter at U-21 level. Just like Pierre-Michel Lasogga and André Hahn, their call-up was entirely deserved. I’m looking forward to getting to know them and to working with them in the national team setup.”
“Bastian is progressing well, that much is clear from his impressive performances for Bayern Munich. We all know how important he is to our game. He’s an absolutely world-class player, capable of making the difference for us in Brazil. I know how hard he’s working to be in peak physical conditional for the summer and I’m convinced that he’ll play a leading role for us before and at the tournament,” Löw stated on the progress of Bastain Schweinsteiger after his injury.
The friendly match against Chile will be the German national team’s first match in the new year 2014 and Löw is expecting a good test against the visitors at Stuttgart. “Chile will come at us with a great deal of determination. Their team is a perfect example of the South American way, using speed and technique to play directly. But they’ve also got some really tough players in their ranks, players who’ll be fiercely combative and put us under pressure. In this respect, we’re expecting a really tough encounter in our opening match of the World Cup year. Moreover, we want to put a few different options to the test, as we don’t have too many more opportunities left to do so.”
“I have a lot of trust in my players and I’m sure that they’ll do everything in their power to participate in the World Cup in Brazil. We have set out to achieve a very difficult objective, one which must come above all else. I have clear expectations and requirements as far as my players are concerned. I need to see these implemented consistently during the next few weeks.”
The Chile match is the first of four international matches for the German team ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Joachim Löw’s team is scheduled to take on Poland (May 13), Cameroon (June 1) and Armenia (June 6) in the three other matches.