Luca Waldschmidt suffered injuries to his face, knee and ankle in a seven-minute cameo against Belarus and will miss Germany's final Euro 2020 qualifier.

The Freiburg forward was taken to hospital after colliding with Belarus goalkeeper Aleksandr Gutor at Borussia Park on Thursday.

Tests confirmed Waldschmidt sustained a concussion among multiple impact injuries, according to a German Football Association (DFB) statement.

"Luca Waldschmidt suffered a midfacial fracture and concussion, as well as an injury to his right knee and ankle during Germany's 4-0 victory over Belarus on Saturday evening," the statement read.

"The DFB and Freiburg's medical departments will carry out further examinations in due course.

"The 23-year-old, who replaced Serge Gnabry in the 84th minute of the game, will travel back to Freiburg from the national team headquarters in Dusseldorf [on Sunday]."

Waldschmidt was taken off in the first minute of added time and will not be involved when Germany entertain Northern Ireland on Tuesday.

The match is effectively a dead rubber for Joachim Low's men, who sealed qualification for Euro 2020 and went top of Group C thanks to their victory over Belarus.

Joachim Low heaped praise on Matthias Ginter following his standout display in Germany's comfortable 4-0 Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Belarus on Saturday.

Borussia Monchengladbach star Ginter opened his international account with a deft flick at his club side's home stadium and later set up one of Toni Kroos' two goals.

Still only 25, Ginter is already a veteran of two World Cup campaigns but has taken time to cement a regular spot in Low's plans.

But after six starts in 2019 and with Niklas Sule sidelined by a long-term knee injury, the 29-cap centre-back looks set to be a big part of his nation's Euro 2020 assault.

"A lot of people talked about Matthias Ginter during the week. He's a bit underrated," head coach Low said.

"He's always performed well for the team. I know what to I can expect from him. Ginter is solid and has a very good first ball out of defence.

"He's also improved defensively and is calm and reliable. You know what to expect, which is important for a coach. He doesn't have a lot of ups and downs.

"I'm very happy for him that he scored a goal, and such a beautiful one."

Leon Goretzka joined Ginter and Kroos on the scoresheet as Germany confirmed their Euro 2020 qualification.

Manuel Neuer did have to keep out a second-half penalty from Igor Stasevich in order to preserve the home side's clean sheet, leaving Low aware of the work that still needs to be done.

"I congratulated the players on securing qualification – that was our main goal," he said.

"The team played really well. They combined well with one another. We were slightly sloppy after our third goal and have to be more clinical."

Germany are now top of Group C going into Tuesday's final qualifier against third-placed Northern Ireland.

Toni Kroos acknowledges Germany are lacking experience and could not be considered Euro 2020 contenders as things stand, although he is not writing off their chances.

Germany qualified for a record 13th European Championship with a 4-0 defeat of Belarus in Monchengladbach on Saturday.

Matthias Ginter broke the deadlock at the end of a frustrating first half, before Leon Goretzka doubled the hosts' lead and then Kroos struck twice.

The scoreline belied some of the difficulties the 2014 world champions faced, though, reliant on Manuel Neuer to make three fine saves - including from Igor Stasevich's penalty.

Joachim Low has disposed of a number of senior men since a poor 2018 World Cup, and Kroos, one of the remaining established stars, sees there is work to do for a young group.

"We are still lacking a little bit in experience, but certain procedures are working better and better," he said, as reported by UEFA.com.

"We will know where we stand shortly before the tournament. Currently, I would not count us amongst the top favourites. But that doesn't always mean anything."

Like Kroos and Neuer, Ginter was central to the victory, having a hand in the second and third goals after scoring the opener at Borussia-Park, the home of club side Borussia Monchengladbach.

The smart flick was Ginter's first strike for his country, prompting comment from Neuer that it was "about time".

"His first Germany goal tonight? Well, after 29 games, it is about time," Neuer said. "No, he did very well to score in style."

Ginter added: "Scoring a goal like this as a central defender - that goes to show that nothing is impossible. Manu is right - after 29 games, it was about time.

"Scoring here in Gladbach is the icing on the cake."

Germany qualified for Euro 2020 with an ultimately comfortable 4-0 win over Belarus following Toni Kroos' brace at Borussia Park.

Needing Northern Ireland to fail to beat Netherlands in order to secure their place at the finals with victory on Saturday, Joachim Low's men initially struggled to hold up their end of the bargain.

Indeed, Germany laboured for 41 minutes until Matthias Ginter belatedly netted and teed up a second-half stroll.

Leon Goretzka swept in the second, Kroos added the third and then a brilliant fourth, while Group C rivals Northern Ireland were held, setting celebrations in motion in Monchengladbach.

Germany were quickly on top and Aleksandr Gutor had to be alert to react to a deflected Ginter drive, smartly turning the ball around the post.

But the wayward hosts then toiled and an unmarked Timo Werner miscued a header in the centre of goal with the 20th attempt of the first half.

Manuel Neuer was required to bail out his wasteful colleagues, springing to his left to deny Igor Stasevich before blocking from Denis Laptev on the follow-up.

That scare shocked Germany into action, and Ginter's deft flick from a low Serge Gnabry cross deceived Gutor for the opener.

Ginter had a role to play in the second shortly after the restart, too, dummying Kroos' corner for Goretzka to pick out the bottom-left corner.

Gutor dived low to keep out Werner's latest effort but was helpless as Kroos sidefooted inside the right-hand post from 20 yards, assisted by Ginter.

There was time for further Neuer heroics, however, as the Bayern Munich star saved Stasevich's penalty after a clumsy foul on Pavel Nekhajchik from Robin Koch.

Kroos would have the final say, controlling on the turn inside the area, dummying into space and sliding in a low finish for number four.


What does it mean? Work to do - despite the scoreline

It is mission accomplished for Germany, with their place at Euro 2020 clinched. But this is far from a vintage German side and, if they are to be contenders at the finals, improvement is needed from an outfit that struggled early on against relative minnows Belarus, who were also able to cause the 2014 world champions problems going the other way.

Neuer proves his worth

There has been plenty of discussion of late of the goalkeeping role for Germany, with Neuer competing with Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen. While there have been some difficult outings in the past 18 months, this was one of Neuer's better evenings.

His double-stop at 0-0 from Stasevich and Laptev kept the hosts on track after a frustrating first 40 minutes. The penalty save then preserved a deserved clean sheet.

Wasteful Werner's woes

Werner will be grateful to both Neuer and Ginter, as he should have broken the deadlock before they both crucially intervened. An awful attempted header with the goal gaping summed up an underwhelming display from Germany's star attacker. Such misses at Euro 2020 will likely be far more costly.

What's next?

Germany host Northern Ireland on Tuesday in a match that now means little to either side. Belarus are into the play-offs but have appeared for the final time in this group, instead playing Montenegro in a friendly next week.

Joachim Low sees similarities between Germany's youthful squad and the exciting 2010 vintage but does not consider his team a leading Euro 2020 contender.

Victory over Belarus in Monchengladbach on Saturday and anything less than a win for Northern Ireland against Netherlands would confirm Germany's place at next year's tournament.

A developing Die Mannschaft have won five of their past seven matches and are starting to build momentum after a rocky post-World Cup period.

Just one member of the squad, captain Manuel Neuer, is over the age of 30 and Low compared the potential of the team to the one that reached the semi-finals in South Africa almost a decade ago.

But the long-serving head coach moved to temper expectations of a serious challenge for silverware.

"As of today we have a very talented, ambitious, hungry team with a lot of potential, comparable to the team for the 2010 World Cup," Low said.

"But we will not be among the absolute top favourites. For that, many players have to be even further along in their development. We're working on it.

"France, England have been playing with the same players for years.

"There's the Dutch, Spain… to play for a title is incredibly difficult. But the guys are really good, we have a good base."

Neuer, 33, will start in goal against Belarus, with Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen to take over for Tuesday's final Group C clash at home to Northern Ireland.

Low confirmed two more Bayern Munich regulars, Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry, would be in the starting XI this weekend following their impressive performances in the club's recent Bundesliga win over Borussia Dortmund. 

The Bundesliga champions, still without a full-time head coach, are now being linked with an audacious bid to bring Pep Guardiola back to Allianz Arena.

Asked about that scenario, Low replied: "Pep Guardiola was very good for the Bundesliga.

"He is one of the best coaches. I don't know if he will come back and whether he wants to [return] is just speculation. I don't know what Bayern are planning, that's their business."

Timo Werner acknowledges he has little hope of outscoring Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga this season, as the Bayern Munich forward's form can only be matched by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

RB Leipzig striker Werner has scored an impressive 11 league goals so far in 2019-20, yet he lags behind the remarkable Lewandowski.

The Bayern and Poland superstar has struck 16 times in the Bundesliga and leads the way among players in Europe's top leagues this season, with 23 goals in 18 games in all competitions – including in each top-flight and Champions League match.

Indeed, Werner believes only all-time greats Messi and Ronaldo can reach the extraordinary standards set by Lewandowski.

"It's hard [to be top-scorer]," Werner told a news conference on Thursday.

"When you score two goals against Hertha Berlin and then watch the game evening game, having scored four or three goals less than Robert Lewandowski this season, and he scores twice against Borussia Dortmund...

"Against whom is he not going to score? That's very hard.

"How he is playing at the moment, maybe only one or two players on the planet are on this level. That's the category of Messi and Ronaldo."

Werner was speaking alongside Germany team-mate Joshua Kimmich on international duty.

The duo each came through the Stuttgart academy before moving on to Leipzig, but Werner claimed he was not discussing a next move with Bayern's Kimmich, despite repeated talk of him switching to the Allianz Arena.

"We don't really talk about it at all," he said. "It was also a coincidence that I came to Leipzig when he was there. I don't imitate everything that Joshua Kimmich does.

"If he goes to Real Madrid, I'm not going to Real Madrid also. Leipzig was the perfect step for me as well as for him.

"He took the step to Bayern Munich relatively early, which was also a good step. Now I'm still a player at Leipzig. That was the right step for me.

"I don't know what the future will bring. But I won't imitate Joshua and go wherever he is."

Manuel Neuer would not be drawn on a potential reunion with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, saying only that "things are going very well" under Hansi Flick.

Bayern are without a permanent head coach following Niko Kovac's sacking, with former assistant Flick in caretaker charge for impressive wins over Olympiacos and Borussia Dortmund.

Manchester City manager Guardiola, Bayern coach from 2013 to 2016, could potentially make an incredible return, according to Sport Bild.

Thomas Tuchel, at Paris Saint-Germain, and Erik ten Hag, at Ajax, have each reiterated their commitment to their current clubs, while the report claims Guardiola "does not seem happy" at City, where he has won back-to-back Premier League titles.

The seemingly unlikely prospect of Guardiola linking up with Bayern again was put to goalkeeper Neuer while on international duty with Germany.

The Bayern stalwart preferred to focus on Flick's fine start, though, saying: "Of course, I can't comment on the rumours.

"We are now here with the national team, I hear [about Guardiola] for the first time. You will see what happens and how those responsible decide.

"At the moment, things are going very well. In the last six days, Hansi Flick has invested everything with his coaching team. We have been very successful twice.

"The people in charge will take a stand [by appointing Guardiola instead] if they want to."

Guardiola won the Bundesliga title in each of his three seasons with Bayern but, having twice triumphed in Europe at Barcelona, failed to deliver the Champions League.

Bayern had been European champions when he arrived in Munich in 2013, replacing Jupp Heynckes.

Neuer was speaking ahead of Germany's Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Belarus and Northern Ireland, where they will hope to secure their place in next year's finals.

Various scenarios could see Germany through after the first match but Neuer said: "Of course, we want to win the home games and get six points. That's our clear goal."

Julian Brandt feels Borussia Dortmund lacked courage during their humbling 4-0 loss to Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker on Saturday.

Robert Lewandowski continued his prolific form against his former employers with a brace, while Serge Gnabry was also on target before a Mats Hummels own goal completed the rout.

A close-season arrival from Bayer Leverkusen, Brandt found his first experience of the iconic Bundesliga fixture tough to take.

"It happens that we've lost. That's okay. But the way it happened was difficult for me," the forward said at a news conference ahead of Germany's concluding Euro 2020 qualifiers against Belarus and Northern Ireland.

"It's hard to digest it like that. For everyone it's okay to lose games. It's human. Every team is not perfect and that you have bad days is okay. But that wasn't so good."

Brandt saw attacking colleague Jadon Sancho hauled off before half-time for a sub-standard display and added: "We just weren't there that day. Everything was missing.

"The courage to go up front, the aggressiveness to go into the duels. If you don't have that in the end, then something like that happens."

Bayern's interim head coach Hansi Flick was the mastermind of Dortmund's downfall, taking charge of two matches heading into the international break following Niko Kovac's sacking.

Germany boss Joachim Low knows Flick well after he served as his assistant from his appointment in 2006 up to and including Die Mannschaft's 2014 World Cup triumph.

"I know Hansi by heart," Low told reporters. "We worked together for eight years. The players also profited a lot from him.

"I talked to him on the phone last week. He was very calm and very balanced.

"Of course, Hansi has a clear idea of what he wants to convey to the team. So it was clear to me that he would have a good start.

"He has so much experience in so many areas. He has great competence and empathy. I believe Bayern will give him confidence."

Toni Kroos and Leon Goretzka have returned to Germany's squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Belarus and Northern Ireland.

Real Madrid star Kroos and Bayern Munich midfielder Goretzka missed the 2-2 friendly draw with Argentina and 3-0 qualifying win against Estonia through injury.

However, both players have since returned to action for their club sides and have been included in Joachim Low's 24-man squad.

Low is still without long-term injury absentee Leroy Sane, while Niklas Sule is set for a lengthy lay-off after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee last month. 

Bayer Leverkusen attacker Nadiem Amiri received a maiden senior call-up last month and is included again, as is Schalke 04 midfielder Suat Serdar.

"I would have liked more continuity with my selection, but that was not possible because of the many injuries we have had," Low said. 

"All the more important is that Kroos returns and provides some stability, along with Manuel Neuer, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus and Joshua Kimmich.

"We give our full confidence to the players who are present - they deserve our attention."

Germany, second to the Netherlands in Group C on head-to-head record, face Belarus in Monchengladbach on November 16 and welcome Northern Ireland to Frankfurt three days later.

Germany squad in full:

Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona); Emre Can (Juventus), Jonas Hector (Koln), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Nico Schulz (Borussia Dortmund), Niklas Stark (Hertha Berlin), Robin Koch (Freiburg); Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Luca Waldschmidt (Freiburg), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Nadiem Amiri (Bayer Leverkusen), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Suat Serdar (Schalke 04), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid).

Ex-Germany midfielder Steffen Freund believes Joachim Low's side are not capable of winning Euro 2020.

Germany have not won the event since 1996, when they beat the Czech Republic in a Wembley final.

Next year's edition of the tournament will also conclude at Wembley and Germany have a strong recent record, having been finalists in 2008 before finishing third in 2012 and 2016.

But Germany did not make it out of the group stages at last year's FIFA World Cup and Freund said the side's depth is a problem.

"We have no chance of winning the Euro [2020]," Freund told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, driven by the new Nissan Juke.

"You will always have injured players and we need everybody healthy … in the past, World Cup 2002 for example, an easy start [and] so you can get on a run.

"This could be possible because this time, 24 teams will play [at the Euros].

"Of course I hope Germany will be able to win the Euro [2020], but I can't imagine it at the moment."

Freund said that Germany's recent form showed why they are unlikely to seriously contend at Euro 2020, citing the first half of a 3-0 win against Estonia in Tallinn earlier this month as the perfect example.

It took a below-par Germany 51 minutes to open their account in that fixture.

"Looking at the team, there are many talented players new in the team," Freund added.

"There were so many players injured during the last two games – that was not great and you could see in the first half against Estonia, how far away we are from the best in Europe, especially when we are missing key players.

"I'm not even talking about the world's top."

Germany sit second in Group C of Euro 2020 qualifying, with five wins from six matches.

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac warned Niklas Sule against rushing his comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in order to feature for Germany at Euro 2020.

Sule, 24, went into a challenge with Augsburg's Florian Niederlechner in the early stages of Saturday's 2-2 draw in Bavaria and tore his ACL.

He underwent surgery the following day and is expected to miss the remainder of the season, while Bayern president Uli Hoeness said Sule "can forget the Euros, that's all nonsense".

Nevertheless, with more then seven months to go until Euro 2020 begins on June 12, some have suggested he could yet be of use to Joachim Low in the tournament.

Kovac urged him to be careful to not rush his rehabilitation, however.

Speaking ahead of Bayern's Champions League clash with Olympiacos, Kovac said: "Niklas is an important part of the national team.

"But the injury is serious, but we cannot predict it the amount of time he'll need, you have to give it the time needed and you have to be careful.

"It's clear he's motivated, but he cannot make the mistake of [returning] too early or too soon. We'll give him all the time in the world.

"Sule is a very important part of the team, but we are at Bayern and have high-quality replacements, so I'm convinced we can compensate for the loss."

Thomas Muller was once again only used as a substitute against Augsburg, with the forward recently going public with his frustration at a lack of starts this term.

He featured for only 10 minutes in the draw, but Kovac insists he still sees the 30-year-old as a key player.

"I understand the questions about Muller, but I hope you understand me as well," he said.

"Thomas is an important part of the team, but whether he plays tomorrow [Tuesday] or in the coming weeks, you will see, but his value is undisputed.

"Muller always wants to play and of course he can also come on the right wing, he won the World Cup on the right wing. However, we also know that this is not his favoured position.

"But we have the squad we have. With [Philippe] Coutinho we got a player who's doing very well on the right.

"Also, against Augsburg I saw him do well and the number of games will ensure that everyone will play enough."

Niklas Sule can forget about featuring in Germany's Euro 2020 campaign, according to Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness.

The 24-year-old underwent surgery on Sunday after scans confirmed he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the 2-2 Bundesliga draw with Augsburg.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Bayern's Champions League clash with Olympiacos on Tuesday, Hoeness said: "Sule can forget the Euros. That's all nonsense. He should focus on the next season now."

Hoeness' assessment will come as a blow to national team boss Joachim Low, who has made the former Hoffenheim man a central part of his side over the past few years.

Sule played the full 90 minutes in last week's friendly against Argentina, as well as the Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia.

The centre-back has made 11 appearances in all competitions for Bayern this season.

Bayern Munich have confirmed Niklas Sule tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Bundesliga draw against Augsburg.

Germany centre-back Sule will undergo surgery on Sunday after scans confirmed head coach Niko Kovac's fears of a serious injury.

Sule, 24, went down clutching his left leg after going into a challenge with Florian Niederlechner in the early stages of the 2-2 draw in Bavaria.

The defender walked from the pitch but Kovac admitted to having "a very bad feeling" and the most important pillar of his back four now faces several months on the sidelines.

Bayern announced the blow following an "in-depth investigation by club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt".

Sule was making his eighth start of the champions' uneven Bundesliga campaign, having become an entrenched member of the starting XI last season as the influence of Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels - now at Borussia Dortmund - started to wane.

His condition is sure to be of concern to Joachim Low, who may have to make Euro 2020 plans without the former Hoffenheim player.

Bayern came from behind to lead at Augsburg following Sule's substitution but were ultimately forced to share the spoils, Alfred Finnbogason nicking a point for the hosts in second-half stoppage time.

Bayern Munich have confirmed Niklas Sule tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Bundesliga draw against Augsburg.

Mesut Ozil insists he regrets neither his infamous photo with controversial Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan nor his international retirement that came amid the subsequent furore.

Arsenal star Ozil ended his nine-year Germany career in ugly circumstances last year, with the playmaker previously coming in for significant criticism.

In May 2018, Ozil and Germany team-mate Ilkay Gundogan – both of whom are of Turkish descent – met and had photos with Erdogan ahead of Turkey's general election.

The move was perceived by some as a show of support for the politician who was re-elected days later despite protests over his government's alleged systematic arrest of journalists, civil rights activists and political opponents.

Both players were jeered by Germany supporters in pre-World Cup friendlies, but the German Football Association (DFB) opted against public criticism, instead attempting to urge focus on the upcoming campaign in Russia.

After the tournament, where Joachim Low's defending champions made an early exit, Ozil published a letter clarifying the context of the Erdogan photo before then accusing the DFB, its president and other high-profile German officials of racism and disrespect, as he announced his international retirement.

Ozil has no regrets and told The Athletic: "[Erdogan] is the current president of Turkey and I would show respect to that person, whoever it was. Although I was born and raised in Germany, Turkey is part of my heritage.

"If the German president or [chancellor] Angela Merkel are in London and ask to see me, to speak to me, of course I would do that as well. It's just about showing respect to the highest position of a country.

"With time to reflect, I know it was the right decision. It was a very difficult period for me as I played nine years for Germany and was one of their most successful players. I won the World Cup and more, played a lot of games - a lot of them really good - and gave everything.

"I don't say people must love me but just show respect about what I've done for Germany. The team was always competitive, but they wanted to play a more attractive style, all age groups using the ball better. A bit like Spain.

"My generation changed German football. It became more fun to watch. But after the photo, I felt disrespected and unprotected.

"I was receiving racist abuse - even from politicians and public figures - yet nobody from the national team came out at that time and said, 'Hey, stop. This is our player, you can't insult him like that'. Everyone just kept quiet and let it happen.

"It felt like I was expected to apologise for the meeting, admit I'd made a mistake and then everything would be fine; otherwise I was not welcome in the team and should leave. I would never do that.

"Racism has always been there, but people used this situation as an excuse to let it out.

"They are free to have a personal view, to dislike a photo I've taken, just as I'm free to make a personal decision to have the photo taken, but what followed exposed their racism for everyone to see.

"When we were knocked out [of the World Cup] and I came off the pitch, German people were telling me, 'Go back to your country', 'F*** yourself', 'Turkish pig' and stuff like that.

"Before the tournament, there was a friendly in Leverkusen and when the ball came to Ilkay Gundogan, most of the stadium was booing him. I heard them shouting, 'Goat f*****’, 'F****** Turkish boy' and other insults I can't repeat.

"But what upset me most was the reaction of the school I went to in Gelsenkirchen. I've always supported them and we decided to do a year-long programme together. At the end, I was going to attend a ceremony and meet all of the staff and children, many from immigrant backgrounds.

"Everything was planned, but then the school director told my team I should not come because of the media attention and the rise of the right-wing AfD party in their city.

"I couldn't believe it. My home town, my school. I gave them my hand but they didn't give theirs back. I've never felt so unwelcome.

"I'm proud to still work with one charity, who provide operations for children worldwide, and they stood by me. But the national team chapter is over."

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