Mueller: Germany return a six-week project; CL players join Thursday

By Klaus Bergmann and Jens Mende, dpa

Bayern Munich star Thomas Mueller is viewing his return to the German national team as a six-week project for Euro 2020 rather than anything more.

“A view beyond that – even if I also know that Hansi Flick will be coach – is not in my thoughts at all,” Mueller said Sunday at the team camp in Austria’s Seefeld.

Coach Joachim Loew recalled the 31-year-old Mueller, and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, for the tournament delayed by the coronavirus pandemic after dropping them from his squad in early 2019.

“You’re glad to be able to do a little to wake up football-Germany,” said Mueller. “I’m happy that I have got this chance.”

Mueller said any disappointment with Loew over his exclusion was yesterday’s news. “I would have liked to have had it differently [but] I have understood it,” he said. “It was about how it was done.”

Mueller, Hummels and Jerome Boateng were three World Cup winners suddenly axed by Loew with little warning though Mueller admitted his form was not the best at the time.

But when Flick was named Bayern boss in November 2019, Mueller rediscovered his touch and Loew – who himself will depart after the Euros – began to talk.

“But that now wasn’t a negotiation,” said the 100-times capped Mueller. “I have the feeling that both sides want the same thing, the absolute success of the next six weeks.”

Loew meanwhile expects three players from Chelsea’s Champions League winning team and Ilkay Guendogan from the defeated Manchester City to join the camp on Thursday.

Antonio Ruediger, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Guendogan will return to England for no more than 24 hours before heading to Seefeld, which means they do not have to quarantine according to local health regulations, the German federation (DFB) said Sunday.

As the United Kingdom is deemed a risk area for coronavirus variants by Austria, a longer stay there when they return from Porto, Portugal, where the final was played would mean a two-week quarantine period.

With no quarantine necessary, however, the quartet will be available for Germany’s Euro 2020 dress rehearsal with Latvia on June 7.

Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka will join the national squad on Tuesday following a muscle injury while Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos is waiting to test negative following a coronavirus infection before he can travel.

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