World Cup 2018: 9 days to go

Germany show strength in depth by leaving out Sane

BERLIN • Leroy Sane was a surprise omission from the 23-man Germany squad for the World Cup Finals as Joachim Low opted for Julian Brandt yesterday.

Sane, 22, was named the Professional Footballers' Association young player of the season after he helped Manchester City win the Premier League title.

The attacking midfielder had 14 goals and 17 assists in all competitions last season but failed to make the cut from Low's provisional list alongside goalkeeper Bernd Leno, forward Nils Petersen and defender Jonathan Tah.

"You have to look at the big picture so we have a variable and well-balanced team prepared for all eventualities," Low said.

"We have good players on the wing in Thomas Muller and Marco Reus. Julian Draxler played a good (Confederations) Cup, and made progress there.

"It was a tight race between Leroy Sane and Julian Brandt. Both have big qualities, both are good in the one-on-one duels.

"Julian Brandt was at the Confed Cup, had some strong games there, and put in good shifts in the training camp too.

"Leroy Sane is a huge talent, no doubt, and he will be back with the team in September."

An employee removing a poster of Leroy Sane from the facade of the German Football Federation's museum in Dortmund yesterday. Coach Joachim Low dropped the Manchester City midfielder from his squad for the World Cup.
An employee removing a poster of Leroy Sane from the facade of the German Football Federation's museum in Dortmund yesterday. Coach Joachim Low dropped the Manchester City midfielder from his squad for the World Cup. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Sane, who has 12 caps, withdrew from last year's Confederations Cup to have an operation on his nose.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer got the nod despite playing in just one official game, a 1-1 friendly against Austria last Friday.

The Germany captain will be the defending champions' first-choice custodian for the tournament, ahead of Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Kevin Trapp.

In Spain, La Roja manager Julen Lopetegui showed his faith in his No. 1 David de Gea even though the Manchester United star made a rare error which led to his side drawing 1-1 at home to Switzerland in a World Cup warm-up friendly on Sunday.

Switzerland full-back Ricardo Rodriguez tucked into an empty net to level in the 62nd minute after de Gea failed to hold a weak shot from Stephan Lichtsteiner.

"David knows that I know he's going to take us forward in many games and I have no doubt (about him)," Lopetegui said, after watching Real Sociedad right-back Alvaro Odriozola score his first international goal with a volley to give the 2010 World Cup winners the lead at Villarreal's La Ceramica stadium.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2018, with the headline 'Germany show strength in depth by leaving out Sane'. Print Edition | Subscribe