The day after Bastian Schweinsteiger said an emotional farewell to the Germany national team, Joachim Löw has confirmed that Bayern Munich 'keeper Manuel Neuer will replace him as captain.
The 30-year-old had already been vice-captain, and wore the armband in all but one of Germany’s UEFA Euro 2016 games, where Schweinsteiger only started the semi-final defeat to France.
The DFB have also confirmed that Kevin Volland and Niklas Süle will not travel to Oslo for Sunday’s game against Norway, with Volland ruled out for two weeks with a broken hand.
Neuer proud to lead his country
Neuer made his international debut in 2009 in a friendly against the United Arab Emirates, and quickly became his country’s number one ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He has since won 71 caps, and since being part of the side that became world champions in 2014 he as regularly skippered them in Schweinsteiger’s regular absences through injury.
Löw admitted that they were a lot of natural leaders in his team, but explained why he went for Neuer. “He has everything you can want from a captain. His achievements through his career are outstanding, he gives everything for the team and he is a model professional. He has exceptional qualities as a person. He takes full responsibility for himself and others, leads by example and always stays calm and composed.”
“It is an honour. I am proud to be captain of the team,” said Neuer himself. Although he stressed that it was important for there to be more than one leader in a team, he added “of course I know that the captain’s armband is important symbolically. I am pleased that the head coach has placed in trust in me by naming me as captain.”
Meyer and Brandt remain after Volland injury
Germany prepared to start the defence of the World Cup with a 2-0 win against Finland in Mönchengladbach on Wednesday, although the game was as much a farewell to Schweinsteiger, who’s international career came to an end after winning 121 caps over 12 years.
Löw played an experimental team around his retiring captain, however one of those starters didn’t come out of the game unscathed, with Volland suffering a break in his right ring finger, with his club Bayer Leverkusen confirming he will miss two weeks, which includes their Bundesliga home match against Hamburger SV and their UEFA Champions League opener against CSKA Moscow.
His injury comes just a couple of weeks after Leverkusen teammate Javier Hernandez suffered a similar injury, however he is expected to be back for them against Hamburg on the 10 September.
Meanwhile TSG 1899 Hoffenheim defender Süle, who made his debut against Finland, will also not travel as per prior arrangement, following his involvement with the Olympic side in Brazil. However Max Meyer and Julian Brandt, who had also been due to leave, will now remain with the camp, due to the Volland injury and Julian Draxler suffering with illness.