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Ruediger and Gundogan return to Flick’s Germany squad

Germany coach Hansi Flick named a 26-man squad for this summer’s friendlies on Friday, with Antonio Ruediger, Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan among eight returnees.

Thomas Mueller, Serge Gnabry, Niklas Suele and Mario Goetze, all of whom made the trip to the Qatar World Cup in 2023, were left out of the squad. 

Germany will play three friendlies in June this summer, having automatically qualified for the 2024 European Championships as host nation. 

“All the players are enormously motivated to give everything for the team and our fans in the next three international matches on the way to the home European Championship,” Flick said in a statement released on Friday. 

“We want to put our upcoming opponents under pressure with a lot of attacking power through the wingers and at the same time be compact defensively with the back three. We are very well positioned for this with our selected squad.”

Sane, Ruediger and Gundogan all missed Germany’s friendlies in March. They lost 3-2 to Belgium in Cologne and won 2-0 against Peru in Mainz. 

Prior to the announcement, Manchester City midfielder Gundogan told AFP subsidiary SID “the national team is and remains something special. I definitely want to be there in June.”

Gundogan, a key part of the City team to face Inter Milan in the Champions League final on June 10, is unlikely to play in the first match on June 12.

Bayern Munich’s veteran forward Thomas Mueller has been left out of the squad. Flick said in March that Mueller would sit out the June friendlies but that the door remained open for his return. 

Flick’s team will take on Ukraine in Bremen on June 12 — Germany’s 1,000th international match — before traveling to Warsaw to play Poland on June 16 and face Colombia in Gelsenkirchen on June 20.

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