BERLIN (AP)Germany is taking 17-year-old striker Youssoufa Moukoko to the World Cup though Borussia Dortmund teammates Marco Reus and Mats Hummels have missed out.
Coach Hansi Flick named his 26-man squad for Qatar on Thursday, rewarding Moukoko for scoring six goals and setting up four more in 13 Bundesliga appearances this season. Moukoko is the youngest player to clock 10 career Bundesliga goals. Last season, he became the youngest player to appear in the league.
Werder Bremen forward Nicklas Fullkrug was another surprise callup, filling a gap left by Timo Werner’s injury. Fullkrug has 10 goals in 13 Bundesliga games this season.
Before Flick named his squad, he referred to the human rights situation in Qatar and recent homophobic comments made by former Qatar player Khalid Salman, a World Cup ambassador.
”It leaves us speechless, stunned,” Flick said of the comments.
Reus is missing out on a major tournament yet again. The Dortmund captain has struggled to recover from an ankle injury in September during the Ruhr derby win over Schalke. Reus made two brief appearances since but complained of increased pain last weekend.
Reus missed Germany’s World Cup win in 2014 with an ankle injury sustained in a warmup game, and a groin injury ruled him out of the 2016 European Championship. He played in Germany’s unsuccessful World Cup defense in 2018 but skipped the next European Championship to recover after his season with Dortmund.
Hummels has played well this season, but he is also susceptible to injury and Flick evidently had doubts about whether the center back could deal with the rigors of a month-long tournament.
Bayern Munich players again have prominent roles within the squad – goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and midfielders Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Thomas Muller will be expected to bring their experience to bear.
Germany plays Japan in Doha on Nov. 23, four days before it faces Spain in Al Khor, where it also plays its last game in Group E against Costa Rica on Dec. 1.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Defenders: Thilo Kehrer (West Ham), David Raum (Leipzig), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), Niklas Sule (Borussia Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Lukas Klostermann (Leipzig), Christian Gunter (Freiburg), Armell Bella Kotchap (Southampton)
Midfielders: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Monchengladbach), Mario Gotze (Eintracht Frankfurt), Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Kai Havertz (Chelsea)
Forwards: Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich), Karim Adeyemi (Borussia Dortmund), Niclas Fullkrug (Werder Bremen), Youssoufa Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund)
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