World Cup winners Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels have secured a return to the Germany team for the first time in more than two years after Joachim Löw included them in his 26-man Euro 2020 squad.
Müller and Hummels, winners of the 2014 World Cup under Löw, were some of the players dropped after Germany’s disappointing 2018 World Cup first-round exit and their poor Nations League performance later that year. But an overhaul interrupted by the pandemic failed to yield tangible results as the team crashed to their biggest competitive defeat – a 6-0 loss to Spain – as recently as last November.
“You can interrupt an overhaul under the circumstances,” Löw said on Wednesday. “In the defence we did not have the desired stability recently and … experience may have been missing in some games.
“Mats is a player who influences other players and brings experience,” said Löw, who also praised Müller’s superb season with Bayern Munich. Müller has managed 18 assists and 11 goals in the Bundesliga, and Hummels has established himself as leader at the freshly crowned German Cup winners Borussia Dortmund, forcing Löw into a U-turn.
“We want a team bubbling with ambition and passion,” Löw said. “A team that gives everything on the pitch to be successful. That is our aim and you can feel it in the team that it wants to be successful at this tournament.”
Löw also included the Monaco striker Kevin Volland, who has not played for Germany since 2016, and the Bayern Munich teenager Jamal Musiala, who earned his first call-up in March after pledging his international future to Germany rather than England. Freiburg’s defender Christian Günter also surprisingly made the cut, hoping to add to his only cap from 2014.
Germany are in Group F with Hungary, the holders Portugal and France, and play their group matches in Munich. “I have not yet set a goal for the tournament,” said Löw. “This time we don’t belong to the absolute favourites like France, for example, but this is not necessarily a burden … If we get through the group and get into a flow then my team can achieve anything.”