May 15 (UPI) — The German national soccer team did not name Mario Gotze to the 2018 squad, despite the midfielder scoring the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final.
Gotze, 25, was not one of the names inlcuded on Germany’s 27-man provisional World Cup roster.
The team includes: Bernd Leno, Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp, Jerome Boateng, Matthias Ginter, Jonas Hector, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Marvin Plattenhardt, Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Sule, Jonathan Tah, Julian Brandt, Julian Draxler, Mario Gomez, Leon Goretzka, Ilkay Gundogan, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Nils Peterson, Marco Reus, Sebastian Rudy, Leroy Sane and Timo Werner.
Gotze scored in extra time, beating Argentina with a goal in the 113th minute in the World Cup final on July 13, 2014 at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“The day the nominations are revealed is always a bit split,” Germany coach Joachim Low told reporters, according to the team website. “On one hand, the players who have been named are over the moon.”
“On the other hand, there’s the disappointment of the players who didn’t quite make the cut. My job as national coach is sometimes to drop a bombshell on some players’ dreams. The decision is never against a particular player, but for the overall success of the team.”
The Germans battle Mexico in the group stage at 11 a.m. on June 17 at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia.
“We watched [Gotze] this season and we have to say that it wasn’t his season,” Low said. “He didn’t lay at the level he could have done with his quality. I think Mario has amazing quality. He’s shown that with the national team before. But this season he didn’t play at his highest level.”