Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels back training with Germany – in pictures
Experienced duo have been recalled by manager Low and are in the squad for Wednesday's friendly against Denmark
Germany's preparation for Euro 2020 continues at their Austrian training camp this week with former national team exiles Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller back in the mix.
Muller, Hummels and Jerome Boateng were dropped in March 2019 by manager Joachim Low who said that he wanted a "new start" with Germany's next generation of players.
The decision to axe the decorated Bayern Munich trio stunned German football and Muller in particular admitted to being left "angry" and "puzzled" at the call.
"A coach must make sporting decisions, I don't have a problem with that. But it's mostly the character of the decision that I don't understand. Mats, Jerome and I are still able to play at the highest level," he said at the time.
But after a serious of poor results – including a 6-0 thrashing by Spain in November 2020 – and more than two years out of the picture, 31-year-old Muller and 32-year-old Hummels, now back with Borussia Dortmund, have been brought back into the fold for this summer's finals.
Hummels admitted his exile had been "painful" during an online news conference from their training base. "Thomas and me were always proud to be here and it hurt when that happed [in 2019], no denying that," Hummels, who won the German Cup with Borussia Dortmund this season, said.
"But I had set the goal to work my way back into the team again. I wanted to do it as ambition but also as an honour to play for Germany."
Low hopes the pair will strengthen the backline and improve the team's low conversion rate up front while also helping to handle pressure during matches.
“It’s as if they had never been away. They helped shape this national team for a long time. They’re feeling good,” Low said ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Denmark in Innsbruck, Austria.
“Both are players who set the tone at their clubs. We expect the same from them here. Everyone enjoyed the reunion with them.”
The pair will have only two warm-up matches to find their footing in the team until the tournament start in 10 days, facing Denmark and then Latvia on June 7.
Low's reign as Germany manager comes to an end after the European Championships – where they take on France, Portugal and Hungary in the group stage – when he will be replaced by his former assistant Hansi Flick, who has just left Bayern Munich after a remarkable 18 months in charge.
Updated: May 31, 2021 04:14 PM