Berliner Boersenzeitung - 'Rappers and yodellers': Nagelsmann strikes balance in Euro 2024 squad

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'Rappers and yodellers': Nagelsmann strikes balance in Euro 2024 squad
'Rappers and yodellers': Nagelsmann strikes balance in Euro 2024 squad / Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL - AFP

'Rappers and yodellers': Nagelsmann strikes balance in Euro 2024 squad

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann said he had struck the right balance his Euro 2024 squad, saying veteran Thomas Mueller linked the team's "rappers with the yodellers" while praising man of "steel" Toni Kroos.

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Nagelsmann named 27 players for the home tournament, with the squad to be cut to 26 after friendlies against Ukraine on June 3 in Nuremberg and Greece four days later in Moenchengladbach.

At the announcement made in downtown Berlin just near the famous Brandenberg Gate, Nagelsmann said Mueller -- who he coached at club level during his stint as Bayern Munich manager -- said the 34-year-old was the "connector" in the group.

"Thomas is a connector, he can connect the groups together. He can link the rappers with the yodellers."

After the coach informed Mueller he was included, the veteran "sent me a funny message -- it showed me how much we need him around".

Nagelsmann said Kroos "may not be 20 anymore" but praised the Real Madrid midfielder's physique, saying "if you hug Toni Kroos, it feels like he's made of steel".

Kroos and Mueller, along with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, remain from Germany's 2014 World Cup win in Brazil, but Nagelsmann left fellow world champion Mats Hummels out of the squad.

Hummels and midfielder Julian Brandt have been key figures in Dortmund's run to the Champions League final, where they will face Real Madrid at Wembley in June, but Nagelsmann preferred to stick with the team which beat France and the Netherlands in March.

Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka was also left out of the hosts' 27-man squad while club teammate Serge Gnabry was not considered because of injury.

- 'We can win the tournament' -

Eliminated at the group stage in the past two World Cups and at the last 16 at Euro 2021, three-time Euro winners Germany had a poor 2023, winning just three of 11 games which cost then-coach Hansi Flick his job.

After losses against Turkey and Austria to end 2023, Nagelsmann named a heavily changed squad for the March friendlies, including bringing in players from Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen and in-form Stuttgart.

Germany impressed as a result with wins over 2022 World Cup finalists France and the Dutch.

"We made very few changes to the group because we did well," Nagelsmann said on Thursday.

"I have the feeling that we can win the tournament. And most of the time, my intuition is not too bad."

Nagelsmann has now brought in Dortmund defender Nico Schlotterbeck and Stuttgart goalkeeper Alex Nuebel for Heidenheim's Jan-Niklas Beste and injured Fulham 'keeper Bernd Leno.

Bayern's Leroy Sane, who missed the March friendlies through injury, has also been added to the squad.

Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will remain captain despite Neuer's return, which Nagelsmann had already confirmed prior to the announcement.

The Euros start on June 14, with Germany facing Scotland in Munich.

Germany go into a pre-Euros training camp in the central village of Blankenhain -- where England will be based during the tournament -- from May 26 until June 1.

Four members of the squad -- Dortmund's Schlotterbeck and Niclas Fuellkrug, along with Real Madrid duo Antonio Ruediger and Kroos -- play the Champions League final at Wembley on June 1 and will not take part.

Nagelsmann confirmed the four will join the squad two days after the Champions League final.

Germany squad

Goalkeepers: Oliver Baumann (Hoffenheim), Alex Nuebel (Stuttgart), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona/ESP)

Defenders: Waldemar Anton (Stuttgart), Benjamin Henrichs (RB Leipzig), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Robin Koch (Eintracht Frankfurt), Maximilian Mittelstaedt (Stuttgart), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid/ESP), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)

Midfielders: Robert Andrich (Bayer Leverkusen), Chris Fuehrich (Stuttgart), Pascal Gross (Brighton and Hove Albion/ENG), Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona/ESP), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/ESP), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Aleksandar Pavlovic (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich), Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)

Forwards: Maximilian Beier (Hoffenheim), Niclas Fuellkrug (Borussia Dortmund), Kai Havertz (Arsenal/ENG), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Deniz Undav (Stuttgart)

(T.Burkhard--BBZ)