Injury has kept Marco Reus out of Germany's Euro 2016 squad. Coach Joachim Löw opted to not to risk the Borussia Dortmund attacker. It was a difficult, but correct decision, says Andreas Sten-Ziemons.
In 2014 it was a partial ankle ligament tear, this time it is his adductor. Even in 2010, muscle problems kept Marco Reus from going to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The Dortmund attacker did make it to Euro 2012, but Germany were eliminated in the semi-final by Italy. After being forced to watch his teammates win the World Cup two years ago, Reus wanted nothing more than to be a part of the team this summer - when Germany are among the favorites to win the European Championship.
But on the day of his 27th birthday, Reus got the bad news: He would not be traveling with the team to France. The birthday greetings he has received on social media from supporters, the German team fan club and even a few players must feel like a poor joke. This was probably the best chance for the undoubtedly talented Reus to win an international title, but his body has let him down again.
A unique player for Germany
The German team has as much depth as any in the world, but there are not many players like Marco Reus. Few are as fast and as skillful with the ball at their feet as the Borussia Dortmund man. Few can score goals like he can, few can create plays seemingly from nothing like he can.
In choosing to also exclude Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi, Löw has left three players out of the provsional squad who are capable of producing offensive creativity. Brandt and Bellarabi bear some similiarities to Reus but lack the Dortmund man's consistency and ability to strike when it really matters. He scored 12 goals this past Bundesliga season for a very strong Dortmund side - six of those goals came in 1-0 victories.
Nevertheless, Löw made the right decision. Reus was having adductor problems back in November, and those problems continued to follow him throughout the course of the season. He would not have been fully fit were he to play at the Euros in France. It may have been possible to play some part but it would also have been risky. Adductor problems can become chronic if not treated properly.
Next chance: Russia 2018
Reus is now 27. If he can recover from his injury after a quiet summer, he should have no problem continuing to play at a high level. Injury luck aside, his chances look good for the next World Cup in Russia, when he will be 29. Watching Euro 2016 from the sidelines means he can return to the pitch healthy even sooner, and that would be a good thing for him and the German national team.