Germany unveil World Cup squad, axe Mario Gomez
Veteran striker Mario Gomez was the major omission as Germany coach Joachim Loew named a 30-man World Cup squad on Thursday
Berlin: Germany coach Joachim Loew excluded Mario Gomez from his 30-man pre-World Cup squad on Thursday leaving the veteran striker to bemoan the worst season of his career.
Gomez, 33, was always a long shot as he has played only nine league games, scoring three goals, for Fiorentina this season.
But having scored 25 times in 59 games for his country, the former Bayern Munich star was hoping to muscle his way into Loew's reckoning.
"I had the telephone call from the coach which really hurt," wrote Gomez on his Facebook page.
"I thought I could be fit in time but, alas, injuries have constantly affected my season and the worst season of my career has ended with this new setback."
While Gomez misses out, there is room for 35-year-old Miroslav Klose, who needs just one more World Cup goal to equal the all-time record of 15 set by Brazilian Ronaldo.
"Mario has been injured for almost seven months. I considered that he wasn't in the necessary physical condition to have a successful campaign in Brazil," said Loew.
On the whole, Loew has plumped for a fairly youthful squad with 10 players who were not even born the last time Germany won the World Cup in 1990, as West Germany.
Two such youngsters making the squad were attacking midfielder Leon Goretzka of Schalke 04 and Hoffenheim forward Kevin Volland.
As expected German champions Bayern Munich provide the greatest number of players with seven, closely followed by Borussia Dortmund, second in the league and supplying five.
One notable returnee is Real Madrid defensive midfielder Sami Khedira, who is back following an injury.
Loew will unveil his final squad of 23 on June 2, ahead of the June 13-July 13 tournament.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Erik Durm (Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal/ENG), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria/ITA), Marcel Schmelzer (Dortmund).
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Andre Hahn (Augsburg), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid/ESP), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Max Meyer (Schalke), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/ENG), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal/ENG), Marco Reus (Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea/ENG), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio/ITA), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim)