Munich (Germany) (AFP) – Germany coach Joachim Loew has confirmed there is no chance of Mesut Ozil returning to the squad in the wake of the player’s bombshell retirement from international duty in July.
“I think everything has been said about this. When a player announces his resignation like that, you don’t pick him for the squad eight or nine weeks later,” Loew said at a press conference on Wednesday ahead of Germany’s UEFA Nations League game against World Cup winners France.
“Players who have resigned will not have a role to play in future.”
Ozil, capped 92 times, announced his retirement from international football in the wake of Germany’s disastrous World Cup campaign, with his statement accusing the German FA (DFB) president, Reinhard Grindel, of racism.
Loew, meanwhile, regrets not having been able to speak to the Arsenal star about his decision.
“Mesut and I enjoyed a lot of success together over the years. I have tried several times to reach him on the phone, without any luck, and I will continue to try and make contact with him in future,” he said.
Germany are desperate to put their summertime blues behind them on Thursday when they host the French — the team who succeeded them as World Cup winners — in Munich.
The start of the brand new Nations League has thrown up a mouthwatering match for Loew’s side, which will retain a core of players who so badly underperformed in Russia.
“We are facing a new beginning. I feel that there is a positive impatience among the players to make amends for the summer,” Loew said at the Allianz Arena.
Loew, who resisted calls to resign after a disastrous World Cup campaign, is now under pressure to show that he is the right man to lead Germany into a new era of success. He has a contract until 2022, having extended his deal in the spring.
“He has done a lot of thinking since the World Cup,” midfielder Toni Kroos said of his coach.
“From our training sessions, I feel like we are changing one or two things, and I hope that people see that tomorrow (Thursday).”
Veteran midfielder Sami Khedira was among those left out of the squad, while youngsters Thilo Kehrer and Kai Havertz have been called up for the first time.
Manchester City’s Leroy Sane also returns after his controversial exclusion from the World Cup squad.