Flick nominates Niclas Füllkrug and Mario Götze

Mario Götze is making his comeback at the World Cup after five years without an international match. National coach Hansi Flick nominated the 30-year-old from Frankfurt on Thursday, as well as the two national team newcomers Youssoufa Moukoko (17) and Niclas Füllkrug (29) for the tournament in Qatar.

Dortmund’s Mats Hummels (33) and Marco Reus (33), who was once again unfit for the tournament, are not part of the 26-player squad led by a strong Bayern block led by captain Manuel Neuer.

“We have a very good squad that we can take with us,” said Flick when the 26 names were announced on the DFB campus. “We didn’t make it easy for ourselves in the coaching team. We went through a lot of things, if-then strategies,” said the 57-year-old.

Flick rewarded offensive player Götze, who shot Germany to their fourth and last World Cup title in the final against Argentina in Brazil in 2014, for consistently strong performances at Eintracht Frankfurt with the DFB comeback. “Our focus is on how someone performs. We all know that Mario is a brilliant footballer who has flashes of inspiration. If you look at the last few games, he was at a very high level,” said Flick. Götze played his last of 63 international matches five years ago in a 2-2 win over France in Cologne.

In addition to goalkeeper Neuer, his Munich club colleague Thomas Müller will contest his fourth World Cup tournament. FC Bayern also has the largest contingent with a total of seven players. After Leipzig’s Timo Werner and Wolfsburg’s Lukas Nmecha were out due to injury, Flick called up youngster Moukoko and the filling pitcher, who scored regularly at Werder Bremen this season, for the attack.

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