Joachim Low has confirmed that Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller will no longer be considered for international selection. The three starred as Germany won the World Cup for the first time in 24 years in Brazil in 2014. The manager said that, in spite of their service, 2019 would be “a new start for the German national football team,” and that it was time for a new crop to inherit the mantel.
“They have spent countless years for Germany and the national team,” Low told Bild. “I thank Mats, Jerome and Thomas for the many successful, extraordinary and unique years together. It was important to me personally to explain to the players and managers of FC Bayern my thoughts and plans today.” Following World Cup success, Germany’s crop of 2014 has struggled to recreate that form on the biggest stages.
They were beaten by hosts France in the semi-final of Euro 2016 before being stung with a group-stage elimination at the World Cup in Russia, losing to Mexico and South Korea to finish bottom of their group. There had been calls for a shake-up of a team that looked to have lost its bite in Russia, and now those calls have been met with the axing of three of the squad’s most senior members.
“They are all still world-class players who are at the forefront of their club and guarantee success,” said Low. “They are big players who stand for a big time in the national team. They have spent countless years for Germany and the national team. I thank Mats, Jerome and Thomas for the many successful, extraordinary and unique years together. ”
“In the national team, however, it is now important to set the course for the future. We want to give the team a new face. I am convinced that this is the right step. In the year of qualifying for the European Championship 2020, we are sending a clear signal of renewal. The young national team players will have the space they need to fully develop. You have to take responsibility now.”
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff added: “Our job is to decide what’s best for the team on the way back to the top of the world. We now want to consistently make the new beginning visible in the squad. Thomas, Mats and Jerome have achieved great things for German football so far and will continue to do so in their club. I still feel very close to them and I’m grateful for the time together in the national team.”