Neuer in Germany's initial WCup squad

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Defending Champions of FIFA World Cup, Germany has announced its 27-man provisional squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup which will be played in Russian Federation. "Nils Petersen is a great trump card".

"To work with the best players in Germany, then develop them and to make them better, to form a team that sets the highest goals, this is what drives and still gives me joy".

Loew will need to present his final squad selection to Federation Internationale de Football Association by June 4.

Loew also opted to stick with the experienced Mario Gomez as his second-choice striker behind Timo Werner and picked Freiburg's Nils Petersen ahead of Sandro Wagner.

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Petersen's only senior worldwide experience was as part of the Germany team that won silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but Löw cited the Freiburg forward's excellent goalscoring record as a substitute as being one of the reasons why he had included him instead of Wagner.

Long-term injury absentee Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus, who missed the 2014 World Cup due to injury, are included. "He is alert right from the first moment when he goes on the pitch", Loew said. The midfielder has made 32 appearances for his club this term. "Personally, I'm very sorry for him", Loew said of Goetze. "That speaks for itself", Loew said. Petersen scored six goals to make him the tournament's top scorer.

"Becoming a national team coach is not something trivial".

Balotelli has not been called up for Italy since the last World Cup when his attitude was the subject of barely-veiled criticism from some senior players.

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