German chances suffer serious blow as Reus returns home

Germany’s hopes of becoming world champions for the first time since 1990 have suffered a serious blow after Marco Reus was ruled out of the tournament.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder, who has 21 caps for his country, is considered a vital member of Joachim Loew’s side, and was expected to play a leading role in Brazil. However, the 25-year-old suffered an ankle injury during the 6-1 friendly win over Armenia on Friday night, which could sideline him for two months.

“Both for him and us it is extremely bitter,” said Loew, who has also had to contend with the absence of Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender through injury. “Marco was in top form, and both in the training camp and the friendlies he left an outstanding impression. He had played a central role in our planning for Brazil.”

Rather than call up another midfielder for Reus, Loew has handed Shkodran Mustafi a ticket to Rio. The former Everton defender, who didn’t make a single league appearance for the Toffees during an 18-month spell in England, only made his debut for the senior national side earlier this year, but was a regular fixture in the Sampdoria side last term and produced a number of good performances.

The rationale behind this decision lies in the fact that Loew believes he has enough options in the advanced midfield role. And this is evident when considering other options in this position, which can be filled by Julian Draxler, Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski, or Andre Schurrle.

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