Germany head coach Joachim Loew on Wednesday named Thomas Mueller and Mats Hummels in the 26-man provisional German squad for the Euro 2020 finals, ending the pair’s two-year exile
“Back again,” Mueller, 31, posted on Twitter underneath a picture giving the thumbs up.
Hummels, 32, also reacted, on Instagram: “I am glad to be back – I’m really up for the new chapter”.
However, there was no recall for Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, who was also axed by Loew in March 2019 alongside Mueller and Hummels.
Loew said he did not regret binning Mueller and Hummels two years ago to give younger players a chance in the wake of the disastrous 2018 World Cup campaign when Germany crashed out in the group stages.
However, Germany’s coach admitted recent poor results – including a thrashing by Spain and shock home loss to North Macedonia – meant “we had to rethink everything”.
Germany have been drawn in a tough group and start their Euro 2020 campaign against world champions France on June 19 in Munich, where they also face holders Portugal four days later.
Bayern Munich forward Mueller and Dortmund defender Hummels have been recalled because “in terms of leadership, they can also give the team a lot,” Loew added.
“We lacked stability and experience in some games. Mueller and Hummels have played very well this season, they can lead.”
Three names will be trimmed from the final 23-man squad for the European Championship from June 11 until July 11.
Eight Bayern Munich players have been named, including captain Manuel Neuer as well as 18-year-old Jamal Musiala, who opted for Germany over England this year.
Two high-profile names missing are injured Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus, who made himself unavailable on Tuesday after an injury-hit season.
A surprise choice is Monaco forward Kevin Volland as back up for Chelsea striker Timo Werner.
“We saw what he did in France, he scored 16 goals and also looks very good physically,” explained Loew.
Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has been included despite testing positive for Covid-19.
Loew is “full of hope” that Kroos, 31, will be fit for the finals, but may have to join the German’s training camp after the start date on May 28.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt), Bernd Leno (Arsenal/ENG)
Defenders: Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea/ENG), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich), Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Robin Gosens (Atalanta/ITA), Robin Koch (Leeds United/ENG), Christian Guenter (Freiburg), Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig)
Midfield/Forwards: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City/ENG), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Kai Havertz (Chelsea/ENG), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/ESP), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Timo Werner (Chelsea/ENG), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Kevin Volland (Monaco/FRA)