By FRANCO PANIZO
Germany head coach Jogi Low has released his provisional roster for the 2014 World Cup, and it is as strong as anyone could have expected.
Manuel Neuer, Phillipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller headline the group of 30 Germans in contention to play against the U.S. Men’s National Team, Portugal and Ghana in Group G in Brazil this summer.
Low also included Per Mertesacker, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski in the squad that will be trimmed to 25-26 players after next Tuesday’s friendly against Poland and ultimately 23 before the June 2 deadline.
Low had a few surprise selections and omissions in his side, which is among the favorites to win the World Cup. He called in the recovering Sami Khedira, uncapped players Kevin Volland and Max Meyer, and left off quality players like Mario Gomez, Rene Adler, Sven Bender and Bernd Leno.
Germany opens its World Cup campaign on June 16 by taking on Portugal in Salvador. The Germans then take on Ghana in Fortaleza on June 21 before wrapping up group-stage play against the U.S. on June 26 in Recife.
Here is the full 30-man roster:
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (FC Bayern München), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Großkreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburger SV), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München), Per Mertesacker (FC Arsenal), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Matthias Ginter (SC Freiburg), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Mario Götze (FC Bayern München), Andre Hahn (FC Augsburg), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München), Max Meyer (Schalke 04), Thomas Müller (Bayern München), Mesut Özil (FC Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (FC Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schürrle (FC Chelsea), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München)
Strikers: Miroslav Klose (SS Lazio), Kevin Volland (1899 Hoffenheim)
What do you think of this roster? Is it as stacked as you expected?
Share your thoughts below.