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Hummels, Goretzka excluded from Germany’s Euro 2024 squad

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BERLIN (AP) — Reaching the Champions League final wasn’t enough for Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels.

A strong finish to the season wasn’t enough for Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka.

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann is keeping faith in the players who earned confidence-boosting friendly wins over France and the Netherlands for his European Championship squad, leaving at least two former Germany internationals “totally disappointed,” he said.

Germany hosts Euro 2024 from June 14.

Nagelsmann initiated a shakeup in March and is trusting it. Stuttgart goalkeeper Alexander Nübel was the only new name among the 27 called out on Thursday, while Dortmund defender Nico Schlotterbeck is back for the first time since last September.

Nagelsmann clearly saw no need to change a winning team too much. Former internationals Julian Brandt, Emre Can, Robin Gosens and Kevin Trapp were also excluded.

Hummels made a strong case for inclusion with his inspirational performances in Dortmund’s run to the Champions League final against Real Madrid on June 1, but Nagelsmann said there were “1,000 components” to the decision not to include the veteran defender, including the team’s development since the World Cup in Qatar and the fact he sees Real Madrid’s Antonio Rüdiger and Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah as his preferred central defensive pairing – and that anyone else would need to be content with a backup role.

Schlotterbeck is evidently content to take that role. He and Dortmund teammate Niclas Füllkrug will join Germany late because of their involvement in the Champions League final, as will Rüdiger and Madrid teammate Toni Kroos, who was also nominated for the tournament.

“It will make the training a bit harder because they’re players that are envisaged for the starting lineup, players that are important for the team,” Nagelsmann said of Kroos and Rüdiger. “I’d prefer if players are successful and play great games and come with a lot of confidence.”

Nagelsmann watched as his squad was announced in a video by a variety of people including students, TV presenters, singers, döner kebab chefs, radio presenters and others, reflecting the mix in German society.

“Super troop. Could be from me. But it’s our squad,” Nagelsmann said at the end of the video shown at a glitzy press conference in sponsor Volkswagen’s showroom on Berlin’s Unter den Linden boulevard.

“It was great,” Nagelsmann said of the unusual announcements. “That’s how we involved many people, an experience that’s very important for the team, that can show the path to success in our home tournament.

Most of the squad was “leaked” by the federation through various outlets in the days before, though the unusual confirmations also led to some confusion. Thomas Müller, for example, suggested on Instagram that he was included before it was confirmed by the federation.

Müller, who has played 128 games for Germany, is the most experienced player in the squad, followed by Bayern Munich teammate Manuel Neuer (117 appearances) and Kroos (108).

Nagelsmann, who said he’s taking four goalkeepers to the tournament, will need to reduce his squad by one before he finalizes it.

The German soccer federation also announced that Nagelsmann’s coaching staff extended their contracts through the 2026 World Cup, putting them in line with Nagelsmann, who extended his contract last month.

Nagelsmann’s team begins its tournament preparations in Blankenhain, central Germany, from May 26-31 before moving to Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, on June 1.

Germany warms up with friendlies against Ukraine in Nuremberg on June 3, and Greece four days later in Mönchengladbach.

The host nation gets the tournament underway against Scotland in Munich. It then plays Hungary in Stuttgart on June 19 and Switzerland in Frankfurt on June 23.

“I already have the idea that we can win this thing, that we can gain faith in winning it,” Nagelsmann said.

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Germany:

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Alexander Nübel (Stuttgart), Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona), Oliver Baumann (Hoffenheim)

Defenders: Waldemar Anton (Stuttgart), Benjamin Henrichs (Leipzig), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Robin Koch (Eintracht Frankfurt), Maximilian Mittelstädt (Stuttgart), David Raum (Leipzig), Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)

Midfielders: Robert Andrich (Bayer Leverkusen), Chris Führich (Stuttgart), Pascal Groß (Brighton), İlkay Gündoğan (Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Aleksandar Pavlović (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sané (Bayern Munich), Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)

Forwards: Maximilian Beier (Hoffenheim), Niclas Füllkrug (Borussia Dortmund), Kai Havertz (Arsenal), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Deniz Undav (Stuttgart)

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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