Germany coach Joachim Low on Friday named 18 of his FIFA World Cup™-winning squad for a friendly match against Argentina and the opening UEFA EURO qualifier against Scotland next week. Forwards Marco Reus, who missed the World Cup due to injury, and Mario Gomez, who was overlooked for Brazil, return to the squad for the games in Dusseldorf on 3 September and Dortmund four days later.
Missing are former skipper Philipp Lahm, record goalscorer Misolsav Klose and defender Per Mertesacker, who have all retired from international football, and influential midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is sidelined with a knee injury. All will be present though as spectators in Dusseldorf in the re-run of the 13 July World Cup Final which Germany won 1-0 in extra-time with a goal from substitute Mario Gotze. The friendly with Argentina had been arranged in March before the World Cup.
Low said he was delighted to have Reus back in the squad, having torn ligaments in his left ankle in Germany's final World Cup warmup match against Armenia. He returned to action for Borussia Dortmund in a German Cup match on 16 August.
"We missed him in Brazil. I am sure he has some great tournaments ahead of him and will achieve great things," Low added.
The Germany coach spoke of his excitement at facing their World Cup Final opponents, so soon after their July showdown.
"It's going to be challenging and exciting for us to be able to play against Argentina again," Low said. "I've got a great deal of respect for this team, who will be highly-motivated and won't gift us anything. We're at the start of a new season so this test is going to be a welcome one for us to measure ourselves at the highest level."
Four days later, work begins in earnest in trying to follow up their World Cup triumph with victory at the next UEFA EURO Championships.
"We won the World Cup, but that's in the past now," Low said. "We have set ourselves new goals, for the present and for the future. We want to open the door to new players. We've got many interesting options. Our aim is clear: we want to launch an assault on the EURO 2016 title.
"To do that, first we need to qualify and a good start is important for that. Of course it has got to be our aim to beat Scotland at home, but we're not going to underestimate them. Scotland play with their hearts and lot of passion and they are going to throw everything into the mixer and fight sacrificially."
Germany squad for friendly against Argentina and EURO 2016 qualifier against Scotland:
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Erik Durm (Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Dortmund), Antonio Rudiger (Stuttgart)
Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Schalke),, Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich), Christoph Kramer (Moenchengladbach), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/ESP), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid/ESP), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/ENG), Marco Reus (Dortmund)
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Fiorentina/ITA), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal/ENG), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea/ENG)