Germany’s 6-1 international friendly victory over Armenia came at a significant cost on Friday night after attacking midfielder Marco Reus was ruled out of the World Cup due to an ankle injury.
The Borussia Dortmund star was helped off the pitch in tears after he suffered a partial ligament tear in his left ankle, with the prognosis that he will miss at least seven to eight weeks before he can make a return to training.
A devastated Reus said after the match: “I really don't know how I am meant to find the words to express how I am currently feeling.
“A dream has ended from one second to the next. But I have got to look forwards and be very professional about my rehabilitation because life must go on.
“I will come back, even stronger than I was. My best wishes now go to the whole team and that they reach our goals without me.”
Having become a key figure in Joachim Low’s Germany side, the manager admitted that 25-year-old Reus had become a central figure in his plans for the 2014 World Cup, and will leave a hole in the centre of midfield that will now require filling by one of his team-mates.
“For him and for us this is extremely regrettable,” said Low.
“Marco was in excellent form; he made an outstanding impression in the training camp and in both (friendly) matches against Cameroon and Armenia. He exuded enthusiasm for the game. He played a central role in our planning for Brazil.”
GERMANY: Group G team profile
GERMANY: Group G team profile
Joachim Low took Germany very far in the previous World Cup with decisive wins against the likes of England and Argentina, but was not able to stop Spain at the semi-finals. The 54-year-old has instilled great discipline in the dressing room and has turned his squad into a machine so strong that no one would be able to break them on their day.
2/4 Star player
It is hard to choose amongst all those high-quality players, but Thomas Muller epitomises the hard working ethos that Low has laid down on his side. The Bayern Munich player is a modern forward that knows how to move on the pitch with or without the ball, he knows how to convert chances and has proven to be the man that saves the day when things get difficult.
3/4 Emerging talent
Julian Draxler is only 20-years-old but his talent is so great that he is on top of Arsene Wenger’s wish list. The Shalke midfielder has scored two goals and produced six assists in 26 Bundesliga matches and his dribbling skills could be more than useful for Joachim Low’s side.
4/4 How they will line up: (4-2-3-1)
Neuer; Lahm, Mertesacker, Boateng, Schmelzer; Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Gotze, Ozil, Muller; Klose.
Reus was heading into the tournament in strong form having scored 16 goals this season in the Bundesliga, while he scored five goals for his country in their unbeaten campaign to qualify for Brazil 2014.
With team’s still able to call up replacements until the day before their opening match, Low has called on Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi to replace Reus, and explained that he feels the squad had enough cover in midfield with those already in the squad that it wasn’t necessary to add another in that department.
“It's not about replacing Marco Reus directly,” added Low. “We have a lot of quality for the position behind the forward.
“Here we have in Lukas Podolski, Andre Schuerrle, Mario Goetze, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler and Toni Kroos enough options. So we decided for another option in defense.”
Mustafi confirmed that Low had phoned him on his way home to reveal he was needed in Brazil, and he toled the DPA Agency of his disappointment for Reus but his jubilation at his own call-up.
“I'm very sorry for Marco, but of course I'm happy that I can be there,” Mustafi said.
Germany ran out comfortable winners in the match thanks to goals from Andre Schurrle, Lukas Podolski, Benedikt Howedes and a late Mario Gotze double.