Mario Gotze is shock Germany call-up for World Cup as Marco Reus misses out

The 2014 hero in Brazil has not played for country since 2017, while injury concerns means Dortmund captain failed to make cut

Mario Gotze, left, celebrates after scoring Germany's winner against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final. Reuters
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Germany manager Hansi Flick has handed Mario Gotze a shock World Cup call-up but defender Marco Reus failed to make the cut.

Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Gotze, who scored the winner when Germany defeated Argentina to win the 2014 final in Brazil, has not played for his country since 2017.

Flick also selected an uncapped attacking duo in Werder Bremen's Niklas Fullkrug, 29, and 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko of Borussia Dortmund.

“Mario is totally happy and so are we to have him. We all know he is an exceptional player. He has been performing at a very high level in the last matches,” Flick said on Thursday.

Bayern Munich provided a strong midfield core with Thomas Muller, teenager Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will lead the team and remains first choice for the fourth consecutive World Cup after overcoming recent shoulder issues.

Dortmund captain Reus and defender Mats Hummels, both 33, missed out with the former failing to recover from injury.

Reus had also missed the 2014 World Cup after suffering an injury on the eve of their departure for Brazil. Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap, 20, was named ahead of Hummels.

“He tried everything to catch this train,” Flick said of Reus' troublesome ankle problem. “It just hurts us because we could have made good use of his quality.

“I've often said how much I appreciate him as a footballer … he is good for every team. We will miss him.”

Inter Milan wingback Robin Gosens also failed to make the squad while RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner was ruled out in early November due to injury.

Four-time winners Germany play their first match on November 23 against Japan, before taking on Spain and then Costa Rica.

Updated: November 10, 2022, 4:49 PM