Germany's World Cup squad: Neuer in, Sane left out
Germany have included 2014 World Cup-winning captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in their final squad for the 2018 tournament, even though he has only just returned from a long-term absence through injury.
But in a surprise omission, coach Joachim Löw left Manchester City striker Leroy Sane out of his 23-player list despite a strong season with the Premier League champions.
"Leroy has a huge amount of talent and he will be back in again because from September we will re-double our work with him," Loew said. "But in his games with the national team he hasn't quite done the business."
Seven of the 23 players set to play for Germany in World Cup 2018, with coach Joachim Löw pictured in the bottom right-hand corner. Image: DPA
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer made his first appearance since September in the 2-1 defeat by Austria in a rain-delayed friendly on Saturday and showed no ill-effects.
The 32-year-old who is considered key to Germany's hopes of retaining the title had been sidelined for eight months after fracturing a metatarsal in his left foot last September in a recurrence of the same injury he suffered earlier in 2017.
Sane was cut from the squad with Timo Werner and the veteran Mario Gomez included as just two out-and-out strikers.
Neuer denied his inclusion was a risk, despite his lack of match practice.
"I'm not worried. I am no more a risk than any other player," Neuer said.
The 'keeper said his careful reintroduction had been a deliberate ploy -- he didn't play a single match for Bayern before joining up with the national squad.
Apart from an appearance in a specially-arranged match against Germany's Under-20 team last week, the match in Klagenfurt in Austria was his first full appearance since September.
"I always thought I would be going to the World Cup and I didn't want to take any risk," Neuer said.
"Every training session is a test for me. If I don't feel good I tell the coach because the success of the team is the absolute priority."