Joachim Löw leaves Jerome Boateng out of Germany squad | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 09.11.2018
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Joachim Löw leaves Jerome Boateng out of Germany squad

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng will be absent for Germany's upcoming clashes with Russia and the Netherlands. Both Löw and Boateng cited the experienced defender's fitness levels as the reason for the omission.

The 24-man German squad was announced on Friday ahead of a friendly against the 2018 World Cup hosts and a Nations League fixture against rivals the Netherlands. Notably absent from the group is Jerome Boateng, while a surging Marco Reus is back in the picture.

Boateng has won 76 caps for Germany and was a key player in the 2014 World Cup triumph.  Löw said he had discussed the decision with Boateng and told him that at the moment, they had other alternatives for his spot. "I am convinced that a break would also do him good at the moment", said Löw on Friday.

Read more: Pressure mounts as Löw finds critics inside and outside Germany camp

The German defender took to social media to explain there are no hard feelings. "I wish my team the best in upcoming games against Russia and The Netherlands. Thank you to the national coach!" Boateng wrote.

The veteran echoed Löw's remarks, saying that he needed the pause to work on his fitness level.

The exclusion of Boateng is "a novelty," Bayern coach Niko Kovac said, but he added that he did not "see this as the end of Jerome in the national team."

Ter Stegen out

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has also been left out due to shoulder problems. Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno and Kevin Trapp of Eintracht Frankfurt will provide competition to number one Manuel Neuer.

Midfielders llkay Gündogan and Emre Can will also be absent, with a thigh injury and a post-surgery recovery respectively. But the midfield will be well stocked with the likes of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich, despite the fact that Toni Kroos will only be available for the Nations League match.

Read more: Opinion: Joachim Löw must go

Returning to the team, along with Reus, are Antonio Rüdiger from Chelsea and Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen. Mark Uth of Schalke, who was called up for the first time last month, will be included again. 

Germany start the international break against Russia in Leipzig on November 15 and, four days later, play the Dutch side that beat them 3-0 last time out in a game that could see the Germans relegated from the first edition of the Nations League.

Germany is stuck at the bottom of Group 1, after suffering losses to the Netherlands and France. If the Dutch beat France on Friday November 16, Germany are down but if the Oranje draw or lose to France in Rotterdam, a German win could keep Löw's side in the top tier. 

jcg/mp (DPA, SID)

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