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Football Extras: Mueller, Boateng, Hummels no longer in Loew's Germany plans

Last updated on: March 05, 2019 21:03 IST

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Joachim Loew

IMAGE: Joachim Loew, head coach of Germany plays with the ball during a team training session. Photograph: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Germany coach Joachim Loew is not planning to call up world champions Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Mueller any longer, saying the team needs to look to the future.

The Bayern Munich trio were part of the 2014 World Cup-winning team but the Germans crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in the group stage, their earliest exit in 80 years.

All three have also struggled for form this season.

 

"I thank Mats, Jerome and Thomas for the many successful, extraordinary and unique years we shared," Loew said in a statement issued by the German FA.

"Now it is time to set the course for the future. We want to give the team a new look," Loew said.

"I am convinced that this is the right step. The youngsters coming through will have the room they need to grow. Now it’s up to them to take on responsibility."

Loew, who can call on young talent including Julian Brandt, Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane, Niklas Suele and Serge Gnabry, said he had travelled to Munich to inform the three Bayern players.

"2019 is a new beginning for the Germany national team," he said. "It was important for me to personally explain my decision to the players and the FC Bayern management."

The German coach has been in charge since 2006 and his contract runs to 2022.

With close to 250 internationals between them, Hummels (70 caps), Mueller (100) and Boateng (74) were part of the same generation.

Hummels and Boateng, both 30, played together in the 2009 Under-21 European championship triumph as Germany started to reap the rewards of a major and sustained investment in youth players that had started seven years earlier.

They all graduated to the senior team and took part in the 2010 World Cup where Germany's youngest tournament team in 76 years reached the semi-finals with an exciting run that included wins over England and Argentina.

Mueller, 29, has scored 10 goals at World Cups, winning the golden boot in 2010. He was the second-top scorer four years later with another five goals.

The trio's international cycle was complete when Germany were crowned world champions in 2014, having also clinched an extraordinary 7-1 victory against hosts Brazil in the last four.

"I am personally convinced that I can still play at the highest level and will continue to do so," Boateng wrote on Twitter.

"I was always extremely proud to wear the national team top ands I will never forget the summer of 2014. But I would have obviously wished for a different departure."

Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff told Bild newspaper: "Thomas, Mats and Jerome have achieved a lot for German football."

"They will continue to do so for their club. I continue to feel very connected to them and am thankful for the time we spent together in the national team."

Germany play their first international of 2019 on March 20 against Serbia in Wolfsburg.

Manchester United's Sanchez out for up to two months 

Sanchez could return for United's last two league games against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City, but any setback in his rehabilitation would mean he has played his last match this season 

IMAGE: Alexis Sanchez could return for United's last two league games against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City, but any setback in his rehabilitation would mean he has played his last match this season. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez is facing up to an eight-week spell on the sidelines due to a knee ligament injury, according to the physiotherapist of the Chilean national team.

Sanchez, 30, injured the medial ligament in his right knee during United's 3-2 Premier League victory over Southampton on Saturday but is expected to be fit to represent Chile at the Copa American, which starts on June 14, physio Pedro Onate told Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.

Sanchez could return for United's last two league games against HuddersfieldTown and CardiffCity, but any setback in his rehabilitation would mean he has played his last match this season.

United are already without a host of players for Wednesday's Champions League last 16 second leg at Paris St Germain due to injury, while midfielder Paul Pogba is suspended for the tie.

They trail PSG 2-0 on aggregate after losing the first leg at Old Trafford.

Barca told me to knock out Madrid, says Ajax midfielder De Jong

Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong has revealed his future club Barcelona have urged him and his Ajax Amsterdam team mates to knock the Catalans' historic rivals Real Madrid out of the Champions League ahead of Tuesday's last-16 second leg.

The Netherlands international, 21, has agreed to join La Liga champions Barcelona next season, completing a transfer in January for an initial fee of 75 million euros ($84.9 million).

But for now he is focusing on Tuesday's trip to the Santiago Bernabeu and attempting to overhaul a 2-1 deficit from the first leg against Real, who have monopolised the trophy since 2016.

"I spoke to them when I signed the contract and they told me to try to knock out Real Madrid, as that would be great for Barca too," De Jong told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

Ajax's daunting task of turning the tie around has been given a slight boost by the suspension of Real captain Sergio Ramos, who picked up a yellow card late in the game in Amsterdam.

De Jong urged his side to be courageous and believes they can still cause a shock by eliminating Madrid, who have lost their last three games at the Bernabeu and were beaten 1-0 and 3-0 by Barcelona in their previous games.

"We have to play on the attack, put them under pressure and play great football," he added.

"If everyone contributes, we have enough quality to cause a surprise."

FIFA recommends use of VAR at 2019 Women's World Cup

FIFA has recommended the use of video assistant referee (VAR) technology for the 2019 Women's World Cup in France this year.

The organising committee of world soccer's governing body met on Monday and backed the use of VAR at the tournament after it was introduced at the men's World Cup last year in Russia.

The FIFA council will make a final decision on whether the technology will be used at this year's women's event, which runs from June 7-July 7, when it meets in Miami later this month.

"I can’t see them not having (VAR), I think it would be a little bit insulting if we weren't afforded the same opportunity (as the men)," US coach Jill Ellis said in July.

The technology, which is operating in most of the leading European soccer leagues, has been used in the Champions League knockout stage for the first time this season.

The English Premier League plans to use VAR next season.

‘Courtois was wrong in criticising Bale’

Jermaine Jenas, the former team-mate of Gareth Bale has lashed out at Real Madrid's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after he publicly criticised his fellow team member Gareth Bale and accused him of being an outsider in the dressing room.

"I thought Courtois was bang out of order to say what he said about Gaz in public," goal.com quoted Jenas as saying.

"I got on really well with him and one of the things I loved about him was that he was his own man. If we were going out as a squad, he would often opt out and stay at home with his family, but I never had a problem with that."

"He went back home to spend time with his family in Cardiff all the time and that is him. Is there anything wrong with that? That's Gaz. He has a young family, he likes to spend time with them, so why should he go out partying with the lads every few minutes?"

Earlier Courtois suggested that Bale's nickname in the Real Madrid dressing room is kept as "the golfer" as he rarely socialises with team-mates and prefers to play golf instead of taking part in team dinners.

Bale, who was previously with Tottenham, has enjoyed great deal of success in Spain since leaving for Madrid in 2013, winning the Champions League four times.

There are speculations doing the rounds that Bale's time can come to an end at Madrid after he refused to celebrate with team-mate after scoring for Real Madrid.

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