Khedira in Germany World Cup squad

Bongarts

"What is clear is that without match practice to go into a World Cup is not possible". "Nils Petersen is a great trump card".

Germany are among the favourites again in Russian Federation, having triumphed with an experimental young squad at the Confederations Cup previous year. The title-holders will have to submit their final 23-man squad including three goalkeepers on June 4.

But why select the man who is hardly known by the German football public?

Petersen's only senior worldwide experience was as part of the Germany team that won silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but Löw cited the Freiburg forward's excellent goalscoring record as a substitute as being one of the reasons why he had included him instead of Wagner. "Personally, I'm very sorry for him", Loew said of Goetze. Via Werder Bremen, the center forward joined Freiburg in the 2014/2015 winter-break and was relegated to the second division.

Petersen helped his club stay in the Bundesliga with 15 goals in 32 league appearances, eight of those as a substitute.

"It is never against a player, but always in the interests of the team".


Last winter Petersen was appointed as team captain in Freiburg.

"Marco is a special weapon and has a lot of strong attributes - speed, instinct, feeling for the spaces, game intelligence".

In one way, his nomination does not come as a total surprise, as Loew has a habit of producing a player that no one previously had on their radar.

Loew took over after the 2006 World Cup in Germany and has led his country to at least the semi-finals in all of the five major tournaments for which he has been at the helm. Although uncapped at senior level, Petersen was the top scorer at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, when Germany won the silver medal. "I expect quite a bit from him for the tournament".

"Becoming a national team coach is not something trivial".

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