Löw drops Germany stars Hummels, Boateng and Müller
Germany head coach Joachim Löw dropped a bombshell on Tuesday by announcing that 2014 World Cup winners Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller are no longer in his plans.
Löw told the Bayern Munich trio before he names the squad for the friendly against Serbia in Wolfsburg in two weeks and the Euro 2020 qualifier against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 24.
Between them, Hummels, Boateng, both 30, and Müller, still only 29, boast 246 appearances for Germany and were at the heart of the team which won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
However, last year’s debacle at the World Cup finals in Russia saw Germany crash out after the group stages due to below-par performances from Löw’s trusted stars, including the trio.
“2019 is the year of a new start for the German national football team,” said Löw.
“It was important to me personally to explain my thoughts and plans to the players and managers of FC Bayern,” added Löw, who flew to Munich to speak to the trio.
The 59-year-old, who masterminded Germany’s World Cup triumph in Brazil, thanked “Mats, Jerome and Thomas” for “many successful, extraordinary and unique years together.”
Löw’s decision heralds the end of an impressive international career for Müller, who broke through as a raw 20-year-old at the 2010 World Cup and went on to score 38 goals in 100 appearances.
Hummels and Boateng, Germany’s successful centre-back partnership before the disaster at the finals in Russia, have played in 70 and 76 internationals respectively.
With a year to go before the European championships, Löw feels now is the time to remove more of his old guard having already last year dropped Sami Khedira, another 2014 World Cup winner.
Löw was heavily criticised in the wake of last year’s debacle in Russia for failing to give chances to the reserves, many of whom had won the 2017 Confederations Cup, when his World Cup plans fell apart.
“In the year of qualifying for the European Championship 2020, we are sending out a clear signal: the young national team players will have the space they need to fully develop,” said Löw. “They have to take responsibility now.”
Löw’s boss, German Football Association president Reinhard Grindel, who also took flak last year when Mesut Ozil retired from Germany duty amid claims of racism, welcomed Löw’s move.
“I welcome the fact that he is now making decisive progress in transforming our national team and starting the qualification for EURO 2020 is the right time for personnel changes,” said Grindel.