Euro 2020 is set to party like it’s 2014.
Not to be outdone by France and Karim Benzema’s dramatic return to international football, Joachim Low confirmed yesterday that Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels were included in Germany’s 26-man squad for this summer’s tournament.
Neither of the World Cup winners have played for their country since 2018, a result of the fallout from Die Mannschaft’s premature exit from the World Cup.
Germany finished bottom of Group F in Russia, prompting Low to announce a purging of the old guard.
The long-serving coach, who will take charge of Germany for the final time at Euro 2020, announced in March of 2019 that Muller, Hummels and Jerome Boateng would not feature in his plans for the foreseeable future.
However, the transition to the new generation has not been as smooth as Low would have hoped.
Germany lost 2-1 to North Macedonia in their most recent outing – a fixture that contained an obligatory Timo Werner howler.
They were thumped 6-0 by Spain in a humiliating Nations League capitulation in November of last year.
And they mustered just one win in five during an unconvincing run just prior to that crushing defeat.
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Calls for Muller’s reinstatement began as he recaptured his best form to help Bayern Munich win the treble in 2019/20.
The self-proclaimed ‘raumdeuter’ provided 21 assists in the league alone and is set to top the same metric this season with 18 assists to his name – no other player in the top flight has more than 12 with one game remaining.
Muller has also enjoyed his best league campaign in terms of goals (11) since 2015/16.
As for Hummels, he returns to add some much-needed depth and experience to Germany’s defence.
The Borussia Dortmund centre-back has more international caps than the other two most-experienced defenders in the squad combined.
The 32-year-old will compete with Niklas Sule, Antonio Rudiger, Matthias Ginter and Robin Koch for a spot in the starting line-up.
Of course their playing attributes will add to the squad but the most important quality the pair bring is a winning mentality.
Muller has just won his tenth league title at the age of 31 and both were integral members of Germany’s successful crop of 2014.
Low will be hoping decorated duo can add some solidity to the squad’s psyche more than anything else.
Both Muller and Hummels will be added to Dream Team Euros any moment now.
The former will become Germany’s most-expensive forward at £4.5m while the latter will be added at £3.5m to match Rudiger and Sule.
Remember, Germany are in the Group of Death this summer alongside France and Portugal (and Hungary) so the traditional tactic of stacking your XI with Germans is not as foolproof as usual.