Attacking midfielder Leroy Sane was a surprise omission from Joachim Loew’s final Germany squad for the World Cup finals as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was named among the 23 players heading to Russia for the defending champions

Neuer made the squad despite playing in just one official game, a friendly against Austria last Friday (June 1), since breaking a bone in his foot in September but talented 22-year-old Sane was the highest-profile player excluded.

The Manchester City midfielder, goalkeeper Bernd Leno, forward Nils Petersen and defender Jonathan Tah were the four players that failed to make the cut from Loew’s provisional list.

Sane, who joined the English champions in 2016, had been a surprise addition to Germany’s Euro 2016 squad two years ago but this time he was overlooked by Loew, who opted to take the more physical Julian Brandt to Russia instead.

The Germans have lost just twice in 23 games since their Euro 2016 semi-final defeat, cruising through the qualifiers with 10 wins in 10 matches and conceding just four goals in the process to advance to the World Cup. However, both those defeats have come in their last two friendly matches, 1-0 at home to Brazil in March and 2-1 against Austria last Saturday (June 2).

Coach Joachim Loew also had the luxury of being able to field a second-string team at last year’s Confederations Cup and still come away with the title, further adding to an already deep German bench.

The coach, in charge for his third World Cup, has a pool of at least three dozen players to chose from before his Group F campaign against Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.

A core of 2014 World Cup winners, including Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos and Mesut Oezil, will form the team’s experienced backbone.

But not everyone’s starting spot is guaranteed, with world-class players such as Timo Werner, Julian Draxler, Ilkay Guendogan, and Marco Reus among those battling for their places.

Loew will be hoping to add a fifth world title, which will equal record holders Brazil, who were also the last team to win back-to-back World Cups in 1958-62.

No. Pos. Player Name

1 GK Manuel Neuer

2 DF Marvin Plattenhardt

3 DF Jonas Hector

4 DF Matthias Ginter

5 DF Mats Hummels

6 DF Sami Khedira

7 MF Julian Draxler

8 MF Toni Kroos

9 FW Timo Werner

10 MF Mesut Oezil

11 FW Marco Reus

12 GK Kevin Trapp

13 MF Thomas Mueller

14 MF Leon Goretzka

15 DF Niklas Suele

16 DF Antonio Ruediger

17 DF Jerome Boateng

18 DF Joshua Kimmich

19 MF Sebastian Rudy

20 MF Julian Brandt

21 MF Ilkay Guendogan

22 GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen

23 FW Mario Gomez