Low is aim­ing high

Ger­many boss signs new deal be­fore an­nounc­ing his pro­vi­sional squad

Sport360 - - World Cup 2018 - By Char­lie Nai­smith @Sport360 ed­i­to­rial@sport360.com

Joachim Low has put his fo­cus on win­ning the World Cup for a sec­ond time af­ter agree­ing a new con­tract as Ger­many coach un­til 2022.

The Ger­man foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (DFB) an­nounced the deal shortly be­fore Low named a 27-man pro­vi­sional squad for the tour­na­ment in Rus­sia, which in­cluded Bay­ern Mu­nich goal­keeper Manuel Neuer de­spite his in­jury woes.

Low, 58, has been in charge of Ger­many’s na­tional team since 2006, guid­ing them to glory at the 2014 World Cup as well as the fi­nal of Euro 2008 and the semi-fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion in 2012 and 2016.

Low’s en­tire back­room staff have also agreed new deals, as has na­tional team man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Oliver Bier­hoff.

Low said: “Work­ing to­gether with Andy Kopke, Thomas Sch­nei­der, Mar­cus Sorg, Oliver Bier­hoff and our en­tire team be­hind the scenes, we are work­ing to de­velop the best play­ers in Ger­many and make them bet­ter, to form a team go­ing for the high­est goals in foot­ball. That drives me and brings me huge joy.

“I have a great de­sire go­ing into the up­com­ing World Cup in Rus­sia and the in­tense weeks with the team to come. This tour­na­ment is now my full fo­cus.”

DFB pres­i­dent Rein­hard Grindel said the con­tract re­flected the asso- cia­tion’s faith in Low and his team.

“It shows great mu­tual trust and re­spect that we will con­tinue to work with all of the de­ci­sion-mak­ers on the sport­ing side,” he said on the DFB web­site. “I have al­ways said that Jogi Low is the best coach for the na­tional team.

“I feel with him the un­bro­ken will to re­main with the na­tional team and to keep us on top for the next few years. He wants to win more ti­tles, but also stands for val­ues such as fair play and tol­er­ance, mak­ing him an ex­cel­lent rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Ger­many and the DFB.”

Neuer, who has played in five games this sea­son hav­ing bro­ken a metatarsal in Septem­ber, is one of four goal­keep­ers named in Low’s pro­vi­sional squad, with Barcelona’s Marc-An­dre ter Ste­gen seen as the man most likely to start fol­low­ing Neuer’s in­jury prob­lems.

The ex­pe­ri­enced 27-man group also in­cludes the likes of Mats Hum­mels, Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez, Toni Kroos, Me­sut Ozil and Leroy Sane, but there is no place for Borus­sia Dort­mund’s Mario Gotze – the man who scored the win­ning goal in the fi­nal four years ago.

Also miss­ing was Liver­pool’s Emre Can, who has not played since suf­fer­ing a back in­jury in March.

“I have a great de­sire go­ing into the World Cup”

– Low

The ma­chine: Joachim Low talks dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion of Ger­many’s pro­vi­sional squad.

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