Germany have confirmed Marco Reuz as the recent World Cup casualty.
The Borussia Dortmund forward was in tears on his way out of the pitch, after going over an ankle in Friday’s 6-1 trouncing of Armenia.
He was immediately sent to hospital and replaced by Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski. Scans have revealed he has tore an anterior ligament above his left ankle and will not be boarding the plane to Brazil on Saturday evening.
“Both for him and for us it is extremely bitter,” coach Joachim Loew told reporters. “Marco was in top form and both in the training camp and in the friendlies against Cameroon and Armenia left an outstanding impression.
“He had played a central role in our planning for Brazil.”
Reus’ injury earned 22-year-old Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi an unexpected last-minute ticket. Mustafi, whose only cap came in May against Poland, was one of the three players excluded from Loew’s final squad earlier in the week.
“It was not about replacing Marco Reus in the same position,” Loew added. “We have a lot of quality in that position and a lot of options with Lukas Podolski, Andre Schuerrle, Mario Goetze, Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler and Toni Kroos.
“That is why we decided for an option in defence and Shkodran had been convincing in our training camp, he is fit and we have full confidence in him.”
About nine world football stars have been ruled out of the 20th edition of the Fifa World Cup through injury, a list which includes obvious match changers like Franck Ribery of France, Radamel Falcao of Colombia, Italy’s Guiseppe Rossi, Holland’s Kelvin Strootsman, Spain’s Jese Rodriguez and England’s Theo Walcott.
Germany’s goal in their final warm-up match came from Andre Schuerrle, Lukas Podolski, Benedikt Howedes, Miroslav Klose (his record 69th international goal) and a Mario Gotze brace.
They begin their quest for a first title in 18 years against Portugal on June 16 before playing USA and Ghana.