With the FIFA World Cup in Qatar about to begin in just a few days’ time, managers are quickly announcing their selections with Germany and Belgium the latest countries to name the finalised squads for the tournament.
Germany’s coach Hansi Flick has surprised many with his selections with Borussia Dortmund’s teenager Youssoufa Moukoko and the 2014 World Cup winner Mario Gotze being the most intriguing picks.
Gotze, the hero of the 2014 final is making a return to the international side after a five-year hiatus after earning plaudits for his play for Eintracht Frankfurt this season.
There is also a strong Bayern Munich presence in the Germany squad for the FIFA World Cup with Thomas Mueller, teenager Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich all included while Keeper Manuel Neuer will lead the team and remains the first choice for the fourth consecutive World Cup.
Timo Werner, Lukas Nmecha and Marco Reus are absent through injury while Mats Hummels have missed out on the team as a tactical decision.
Germany Squad for FIFA World Cup:
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Defenders: Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Antonio Ruediger (Real Madrid), Niklas Suele (Borussia Dortmund), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Thilo Kehrer (West Ham United), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Lukas Klostermann, Armel Bella Kotchap (Southampton), Christian Guenter (Freiburg)
Midfielders: Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Mueller (all Bayern Munich), Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Mario Gotze (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Strikers: Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Youssoufa Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund), Niklas Fuellkrug (Werder Bremen), Karim Adeyemi Borussia Dortmund)
Four-time winners Germany are looking to make amends for their shock first-round loss in 2018 and kick off their Group E matches against Japan on Nov. 23. They next face Spain four days later and Costa Rica on Dec 1.
Meanwhile, Belgium’s coach Roberto Martinez has decided to include injured striker Romelu Lukaku and playmaker Eden Hazard in his 26-man squad.
Lukaku, who has been suffering from a hamstring injury coupled with a thigh problem has played just twice since August for Inter Milan.
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Koen Casteels
Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Leander Dendoncker, Zeno Debast, Arthur Theate, Wout Faes
Midfielders: Hans Vanaken, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Amadou Onana, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco, Thorgan Hazard, Timothy Castagne, Thomas Meunier
Forwards: Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Loïs Openda, Charles De Ketelaere, Eden Hazard, Jeremy Doku, Dries Mertens, Leandro Trossard.
Belgium in Group F will play against Canada, Morocco and Croatia.