Germany have recalled outcasts Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels to the international team ahead of Euro 2020 after announcing their 26-man squad for the tournament.
The duo were sensationally axed from the national side by Joachim Low less than a year after featuring in a squad that as world champions crashed to a disastrous performance in the 2018 World Cup where they were eliminated at the group stage.
The recalls to the national side come after UEFA announced that teams would be increasing squad sizes to 26 for the tournament, opening up three more spots for Low.
After being axed in 2019, Thomas Muller (left) and Mats Hummels (centre) have been recalled to the Germany team for this summer’s European Championship
Muller shared his delight on Twitter after the squad was announced, posting a picture of himself giving a ‘thumbs up’ gesture with the words ‘back again’ and the Germany flag.
Upon his official confirmation of his return Hummels stated on Twitter: I am really happy and proud to play for Germany again.’
According to Bild, Low watched Hummels in action for Borussia Dortmund against RB Leipzig in the 4-1 German Cup final win recently and regarded the 32-year-old’s performance as ‘strong.’
It completes the road to redemption for Hummels who had been left furious after his initial axing, insisting that Low change his mind, saying on Instagram: ‘[It’s] difficult to understand [this] sporting decision. Low should now revise this!’
At the start of the year Hummels admitted he was still open to a return, telling Bild: ‘I’ve already given a lot of thought to it, I’ve always been very emotional and passionate about the German national team.’
Low admits that his plan to build a youthful German side has stumbled in recent months, and hinted his team needed more leadership.
‘The development has not progressed as well as we wanted,’ he said on Wednesday. ‘That’s why we said: We have to check everything again.
‘They both played a strong season so we brought them back. You can give the team something in terms of leadership. You know our way of thinking and a large part of the team. We made the decision back then because we wanted to give the boys the chance to develop.’
There are plenty of familiar names in the Germany line-up, with Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno likely to feature as back-up to Bayern Munich star Manuel Neuer.
In defence, Hummels will be joined by Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and Leeds United’s Robin Koch, while Rudiger’s Blues team-mates Kai Havertz and Timo Werner also feature.
Manchester City’s Ikay Gundogan is involved as his former Etihad Stadium team-mate Leroy Sane. There is also a call-up for former England Under 21 international Florian Neuhaus, with the Bayern Munich star having earned his first two senior Germany caps back in March.
Meanwhile Christian Gunter is recalled for the first time in seven years with the Freiburg left-back having earned his sole cap in a pre-2014 World Cup warm-up with Poland
Another player who Low invited for a recall was Hummels’ Dortmund team-mate Marco Reus.
However the 31-year-old has turned his back on the national team, insisting he needs the summer to rest after a gruelling a campaign which he entered having been injured seven months prior to the start of the season.
Reus said on Instagram: ‘This decision was very difficult for me because I am always full of pride when I can stand up for my country. I have come to the decision to give my body time to recover!’
Hummels (right) impressed Low in Borussia Dortmund’s German Cup final win over RB Leipzig
Marco Reus (right) was also invited for a recall by Low (left) but has turned down the chance
Hummels last featured for Germany by collecting a 70th cap in a 2-2 Nations League draw against Holland in November 2018 before he was dropped along with Muller and Jerome Boateng to make way for fresh blood in the squad.
Although Muller and Hummels will now be recalled, there is no return for Boateng.
Germany’s new breed of stars have struggled in the last year. Back in November they suffered their worst ever defeat in a competitive game when they were hammered 6-0 in Spain in a Nations League clash.
Muller (centre) along with Hummels (not pictured) helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup
They have also stumbled out of the blocks in the World Cup qualifiers too, losing their most recent match at home following a shock 2-1 defeat by North Macedonia.
Muller’s recall was first reported earlier in the month, with the 31-year-old who has 100 caps for his country, with pressure having been put on Low to recall his former stars who helped Germany win the World Cup seven years ago in a bid to get the national team back on track.
Low has already announced that he will be leaving his post as Germany boss following 15 years service after the European Championship.
Germany’s youthful stars have struggled, losing 2-1 at home to North Macedonia in March
The poor results have seen fans and even past stars urge Low to bring back his experienced stars and as recently as February, Low admitted the door was not fully closed to his veterans.
He told Kicker: ‘Special circumstances can justify an interruption in the upheaval.
‘That (the future of the trio) will be a difficult and important question, also for me. The character of Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels is that they don’t oppress others.’
Jerome Boateng was also axed by Low after the World Cup but is not expected to be recalled
Real Madrid star Toni Kroos turned the screw further in March when he questioned Low’s wisdom to take a more youthful yet inexperienced approach with the national team.
‘I believe that in the end you have to plan a little ahead,’ he told Sky Germany.
‘I am now questioning whether the coach’s plan has worked out in the way he wanted it to be.
‘It is clear that the intention after the World Cup was relatively clear. And now you have to find the best possible team for the next tournament.’