Germany's squad for their upcoming internationals has a new addition, Jonas Hector from newly-promoted club Cologne. Marco Reus and Sami Khedira are also back in the mix, after missing games through injury.
A group of 23 players, including 15 World Champions, have been called up to the Germany squad for the final two international fixtures of the year against Gibraltar (14.11.2014) and Spain (18.11.2014).
German football fans are likely to be most pleased about the return of recuperated midfielders Marco Reus and Sami Khedira to the side. Leverkusen's Lars Bender and Schalke's Benedikt Höwedes are also back in coach Joachim Löw's squad, as is Hoffenheim's Kevin Volland. The biggest surprise is defender Jonas Hector, however, who may well make his debut against Gibraltar.
"We want to get to know Jonas Hector better; he's in good form for Cologne," coach Joachim Löw said on Friday. Hector has been part of one of the most stable defenses in the league at Cologne this season, something that will have gone down well with Löw, who is still trying to find solutions for the international retirements of Per Mertesacker and Philipp Lahm.
"Kevin Volland has performed well for Hoffenheim and the U21s so deserves a call-up," Löw told the German Football Association (DFB) website. "The returns of Marco Reus, Sami Khedira, Benedikt Höwedes and Lars Bender are good for the team as, despite their age, they are experienced internationals."
Honors keep coming
Ahead of the two games, the World Cup-winning players from Brazil will journey to Berlin next Monday. There, the players will be honored with the highest sports award in Germany, the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt from German president Joachim Gauck. In the evening they will attend the premiere of the World Cup film "Die Mannschaft" where they will also receive the "Winner's Badge" from FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Preparations for the European Championships qualifier against Gibraltar start the following day.
"We will need to concentrate against Gibraltar and take the game seriously," Löw said. "We know we are clear favourites and we want to show we are worthy of the tag."
Currently, Germany are fourth in their European Championship qualifying group with just four points, and will be keen to maximise their points and improve their goal difference against Gibraltar.
In contrast, Germany's friendly match against Spain in Vigo on November 18, will be a "special occasion" according to Löw.
"Spain have dominated football in recent years," explained Löw: "I have a lot of respect for them."
al/jw (dpa, Reuters)