Mario Gotze was not included in Germany’s preliminary World Cup squad announced on Tuesday by the German football federation (DFB), which also revealed a contract extension for coach Joachim Low through the 2022 World Cup.
Low, who had been linked with a move to Arsenal to replace Arsene Wenger, had been under contract through Euro 2020 and said he is driven by the idea of “developing and furthering a team which sets it sights on the highest goals.”
“The planning horizon over four years is ideal, I’d like to think, especially because there might be some changes in the squad after the 2018 World Cup,” Low said.
Gotze was Germany’s 2014 World Cup hero as he came on as a substitute in the final against Argentina and scored the winner in the 113th minute, but has had troubles this season with Borussia Dortmund.
“It wasn’t his season,” Low said of Gotze. “He did not show what his qualities are. He just did not have the form. I hope that he can have a fresh beginning at Dortmund after the break. It’s a difficult decision.”
Gotze will be the first player to score the winner in a World Cup final and then not return for the following World Cup since 1978, when Gerd Muller did not return to the West Germany squad after scoring in 1974.
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