Low makes no promises on Germany recalls for Muller and Hummels

By Sports Desk March 11, 2021

Germany head coach Joachim Low has insisted no final decision has been made on possible recalls for Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.

The experienced pair have not played for their country since being told by Low in March 2019 that they, along with Jerome Boateng, had no future with the national team.

Low's decision to focus on younger talent has not always paid dividends, though, and last November's 6-0 demolition by Spain prompted loud calls from the likes of Mesut Ozil to bring those senior players back into the fold.

A report in Kicker claimed Muller and Hummels are set to be handed places in Low's Euro 2020 squad, which will be his last major tournament in charge before he steps down after 15 years in the role.

While insisting he has made no promises over either player's future, Low did admit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic could mean his planned "upheaval" of the team may have to be put on hold.

"I neither opened nor closed the door," he said when asked about Muller and Hummels' possible return.

"I said that, under normal circumstances, you shouldn't interrupt a radical change. We have the pandemic situation, and perhaps you can consider: should I interrupt the upheaval [of the squad] for a tournament?"

Muller, 31, has played 100 times for Germany since making his debut in 2010 and, like Hummels – who has 70 caps – he was part of the squad that won the World Cup in 2014.

Muller's club form in the past two years, particularly during Bayern's treble triumph in 2019-20, has led to a clamour for his return to the national team.

Since the start of last season, as well as scoring 27 goals in all competitions, he has provided 37 assists, the most of any player in Europe's top-five leagues apart from Kevin De Bruyne (38).

Only two Bundesliga players – Erling Haaland (65) and Robert Lewandowski (109) – have had more direct goal involvements than Muller in that time.

Speaking of a possible Germany comeback, he said: "I feel comfortable in the [Bayern] team. Standing on the pitch with the boys is fun, and there are a lot of national team players on the pitch.

"I feel like chasing titles in the summer. We will see if it is the end for me after the Champions League final or whether I will play for the national team. I'm definitely ready."

Related items

  • Glasner stresses need for 'special' Frankfurt defence against Benzema-inspired Madrid Glasner stresses need for 'special' Frankfurt defence against Benzema-inspired Madrid

    Eintracht Frankfurt's defence must be "special" to deal with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema-inspired attack in the Super Cup, according to head coach Oliver Glasner.

    Europa League winners Frankfurt take on the Champions League victors in Helsinki on Wednesday.

    Yet Frankfurt come into the clash on the back of a 6-1 home hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich in their opening Bundesliga fixture on Saturday, while they are also without their creative hub in the form of Filip Kostic, who has been left out of the squad to seal a transfer for Juventus.

    While confident his team can come away with a surprise victory at the Olympic Stadium, Glasner acknowledged they must be far less open than they were against Bayern, who were 5-0 up by half-time.

    "If we have to play against Real, we need a special defence, especially [against] Benzema, who was the best scorer in the Champions League, really great in box, but it's important that the players who give him passes, whoever plays, that we prevent the players passing into the box because it will always be very difficult to defend Benzema," said Glasner in a news conference.

    "That's the idea, act in a compact manner, pressure Madrid so they don't have very much space.

    "We're feeling very good, looking very much forward [to the game]. Great compensation for the Europa League final, for the win, playing the Super Cup now, playing a Champions League winner that knocked out Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.

    "Of course, the team that waits for us is high quality, we want to show our best football, give our best on the pitch... we're not really scared, we're looking forward to it.

    "We showed last year on the European stage there's always a chance, we took that chance."

    While Frankfurt, who defeated Barcelona en route to winning the Europa League, might be inexperienced when it comes to matches of this magnitude, they have signed a player who is very much accustomed to big occasions in the form of Mario Gotze. 

    Former Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund playmaker Gotze, who scored Germany's winner in the 2014 World Cup final, joined Frankfurt from PSV, and Glasner is delighted with his impact so far.

    "We are glad that Mario joined us. He integrated really quickly, his technical qualities, his sense for finding solutions, he's very zealous, running a lot," Glasner said. 

    "He already played 50 or 60 Champions League matches, he has a lot of experience at this level, so for him it's not the newest thing to play against teams like Real Madrid."

    Another player who has played for one of Europe's biggest clubs is Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who insisted he will not do anything different to prepare for the game, despite going up against the likes of Benzema and Vinicius Junior.

    Trapp said: "There are butterflies in my stomach, but I am happy to play in this game tomorrow.

    "It's a huge possibility to show our strengths, but I don't prepare in a special way, everyone knows these players and their qualities, how strong they are.

    "My job is always the same, to help the team not concede any goals, that'll be my job, but we will face a lot of quality with Benzema and Vinicius, whoever it is."

  • Evergreen Modric sees no reason why Qatar World Cup should affect Madrid game time Evergreen Modric sees no reason why Qatar World Cup should affect Madrid game time

    Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric does not think it will be crucial for Carlo Ancelotti to manage his minutes this season, despite the upcoming World Cup.

    The 2022 edition of FIFA's showpiece tournament takes place in Qatar across November and December, with Modric's Croatia having qualified.

    Croatia reached the final of the 2018 tournament in Russia, with Modric starring. He subsequently won the Ballon d'Or, and is the only player not named Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to scoop that award since 2007, when Kaka took it.

    While Ivan Rakitic, the other mainstay of Croatia's midfield over the past decade, and Mario Mandzukic - who led the line in 2018 - have retired from international football (and in the latter's case, from playing altogether), Modric is set to lead his country once again.

    Modric will be 37 by the time the World Cup rolls around, with Croatia drawn against Belgium, Canada and Morocco in Group F, but ahead of Wednesday's Super Cup clash with Eintracht Frankfurt, explained that he has not felt the need to talk to Ancelotti about managing how much he plays this campaign.

    He told a news conference in Helsinki: "Not at all, I don't see it being different, as I've always said, age doesn't matter. What matters is what you show on the pitch, you don't need to look at your age.

    "I speak to the coach every day, but not about that. The coach knows I like playing and I feel better when I play.

    "I'm feeling good, available to the team to give my all to help the team in every way. The World Cup doesn't change anything for me, I just have to be ready, train well and be at the coach's disposal."

     

    Perhaps to prove a point, Modric, who will have additional competition from new arrival Aurelien Tchouameni this season, was leading the press in a training game between two 11s made up of Madrid's superstar-littered squad at the Olympic Stadium after the media duties had been fulfilled.

    Modric, as well as Karim Benzema, was also asked how Madrid could improve on last season, when they won a LaLiga and Champions League double.

    "To be at this level you have to work hard and be committed on and off the pitch, that's what we're doing," he added. 

    "We have a very good group of players here, we are ready for a good season, we are going to give everything as we do every year."

    The equally evergreen Benzema, citing his coach, said: "I think we all agree, if that's what Carlo said!

    "Age doesn't come into it, it's true that we're no longer young but we're all working hard, on and off the pitch, resting well between and are able to keep going and performing at a high standard. We have a good squad here, better than last year. We're going to compete for everything."

  • 'Ronaldo to Atletico, why not?' – Guti believes Real Madrid legend could make controversial LaLiga return 'Ronaldo to Atletico, why not?' – Guti believes Real Madrid legend could make controversial LaLiga return

    Cristiano Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid would make a "good pairing" despite his Real Madrid past, according to Los Blancos great Guti.

    Ronaldo began Manchester United's Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion on the bench on Sunday, having missed the majority of the Red Devils' pre-season campaign after reportedly expressing his desire to join a Champions League side.

    With the likes of Bayern Munich quickly ruling out a move for the 37-year-old, Atletico were touted as a potential destination for Ronaldo, who leads Madrid's all-time goalscoring charts after netting 450 times for Los Blancos between 2009 and 2018.

    Those reports were not well received by Atletico supporters, however, some of whom unveiled a banner reading 'CR7 not welcome' during a pre-season friendly against Numancia.

    Atletico president Enrique Cerezo has also refuted suggestions Ronaldo could make the controversial move, but former Madrid midfielder Guti is surprisingly enthusiastic about the prospect.

    "If in this case he decides to come to Atletico Madrid, why not? It's a great team, he's a great striker," Guti told DAZN. 

     

    "Atletico Madrid needs a good striker and why not? I think it would be a good pairing.

    "It would be strange, because Madrid loves him very much, because he is a very loved player. I think that the Real Madrid fans wouldn't mind. I think that everything Cristiano had to give to Real Madrid, he already gave.

    "If he feels happy being able to play in a great team like Atletico Madrid and in the Spanish league, which I think he wants, why not?"

    Ronaldo has earnt a reputation as chief tormentor of Atletico throughout his illustrious career; the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored 25 goals in 37 competitive appearances against Los Colchoneros, including a late penalty in Madrid's 4-1 extra-time Champions League final win in 2014.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.