Uncapped trio make Germany’s Euro 2016 squad
Uncapped midfielders Joshua Kimmich, Julian Brandt and Julian Weigl were on Tuesday included in Germany’s provisional 27-man squad for next month’s European championships in France.
Defensive midfielder Kimmich, 21, only broke into Bayern Munich’s first team earlier this season and has now been promoted from Germany’s under-21 team, along with 20-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger Brandt.
“It’s a dream come true,” Kimmich told Sky having won the Bundesliga title with Bayern last Saturday.
“No one could have predicted this at the start of the season.
“Everything which comes for me is now a bonus, I wasn’t expecting it, but I’ll be doing my best to make the final cut for France.”
Like Kimmich, Borussia Dortmund defensive midfielder Weigl, 20, has made the national team after just a full season in the Bundesliga.
Head coach Joachim Loew has up until May 31 to cut his squad from 27 to 23 while Germany play home friendlies against Slovakia on May 29, then Hungary on June 4, before their opening Euro 2016 game against Ukraine on June 12.
There were few surprises in Loew’s squad, announced at the French embassy in Berlin, and 14 of the squad which won the 2014 World Cup have been included.
Germany’s captain and midfield general Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has 114 caps, has been included as he recovers from a torn medial knee ligament.
“We’ll have to wait and see when he can train with us. He is back to full running training, but we have to work out when he can train with the team,” said Loew.
“We want to see first how he trains up until May 31, then we have to work out how much work he will have to do before the beginning of the tournament.
“He’s important for us, even if he might not make it for the first game.”
Loew has also opted to include Galatasaray forward Lukas Podolski, who has made 127 appearances in the famous white shirt.
Both Schweinsteiger, 31, and Podolski, 30, will be playing in their fourth European championships.
Mario Gomez of Fiorentina, who spent last season on loan at Besiktas, is the only out-and-out striker included in the squad.
Loew explained why he opted for the uncapped trio of Brandt, Kimmich and Weigl, while Schalke’s Leroy Sane has only made one previous appearance for Germany.
Brandt caught the eye by scoring in six consecutive league games for Leverkusen at the end of the season, while Sane impressed at the start of the season with a series of eye-catching performances.
“Joshua (Kimmich) can play in defence, in defensive midfield or out on the wing. He has played at a high level with Bayern, even in the Champions League,” said Loew.
“Leroy (Sane) has exceptional skills and can bring something special to a game.
“Julian (Weigl) has played well in midfield with Borussia Dortmund, he has unbelievable vision and is safe on the ball.
“Julian (Brandt) is technically very good and quick.”
Germany will start their pre-Euro 2016 training camp in Ascona, Switzerland, next Monday and as well as Ukraine, they face Poland and Northern Ireland in Group C at Euro 2016.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona/ESP)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Emre Can (Liverpool/ENG), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia/ESP), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Antonio Ruediger (AS Roma/ITA)
Midfielders: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Wolfsburg), Sami Khedira (Juventus/ITA), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/ESP), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/ENG), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Leroy Sane (Schalke 04), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United/ENG), Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund)
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Fiorentina/ITA), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray/TUR), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Andre Schuerrle (Wolfsburg)