Germany announce 27-man squad; Gotze, Can, Mustafi dropped

Joachim Low

The Premier League is also represented in the squad, with Arsenal's Mesut Ozil joined by Manchester City duo Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane, along with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger. He has always made a very good impression.

There was more political activity as hosts Russia granted a World Cup visa to German journalist Hajo Seppelt, who had been banned from the finals after he broke the story on the Russian state-sponsored doping scandal. The 32-year-old Bayern Munich star has not played for eight months with a fractured foot.

Low has until June 4 to submit his final 23-man squad that will represent Germany in Russian Federation and attempt to become the first back-to-back World Cup winners since Brazil in 1962. Neuer must now prove his fitness at a fortnight-long training camp in northern Italy, which started yesterday.

Given Loew's trust in experienced players, local media are speculating that 2014 World Cup hero Mario Goetze could be recalled despite a disappointing season at Borussia Dortmund and his omission for the recent friendlies with Spain and Brazil.

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Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi and Liverpool midfielder Emre Can have both been snubbed too, while Sven Ulreich, who has played nearly the whole season with Bayern Munich, has been left out. "It's definitely not been his season. Personally, I'm very sorry for him", Loew said of Goetze.

Uncapped Freiburg striker Nils Petersen received an invitation from the national team after scoring 15 goals in the Bundesliga this season.

They open their World Cup campaign against Mexico on June 17, before fixtures against Sweden (June 23) and South Korea (June 27).

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