2014 World Cup contenders Germany have been dealt some demoralizing news ahead of this summer's tournament in Brazil. ESPN FC on Twitter reports that midfielder Marco Reus has been ruled out following an ankle injury:
BREAKING: @JensGrittner confirms Reus is OUT of Germany squad. RT: WM-Aus für Reus - Mustafi rückt ins Brasilien-Aufgebot.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 7, 2014
The Guardian's Marcus Christenson confirmed Reus' status and his replacement on the 23-man roster:
Confirmed: Marco Reus misses World Cup. Terrible news for the player, team-mates and Joachim Löw— Marcus Christenson (@m_christenson) June 7, 2014
Germany call up Shkodran Mustafi as replacement after Marco Reus is ruled out of the World Cup. Feel so sorry for Reus— Marcus Christenson (@m_christenson) June 7, 2014
According to Reuters (via The Guardian) the 25-year-old suffered a partial tear of a ligament in his left ankle after turning it in the first half of Germany's 6-1 win over Armenia on Friday, and Germany manager Joachim Loew expressed his sympathy and disappointment for Reus:
Both for him and for us it is extremely bitter. Marco was in top form and both in the training camp and in the friendlies against Cameroon and Armenia left an outstanding impression. He had played a central role in our planning for Brazil.
Although Germany are a deep squad with plenty of quality across the board, especially in the attacking third, Reus' injury is a massive blow as he was coming off a stellar season with Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. The talented winger scored 16 goals and assisted on 13 others in 30 league appearances and finished the 2013-14 campaign with 23 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions.
He's made 20-plus appearances with the German national team since 2011, scoring seven goals for Die Mannschaft during that time.
By replacing Reus with Shkodran Mustafi, a defender currently playing with Serie A's Sampdoria, Loew has made it clear that he's confident in his team's ability to generate chances and score goals in Brazil, per the Guardian report:
It was not about replacing Marco Reus in the same position. We have a lot of quality in that position and a lot of options with Lukas Podolski, Andre Schuerrle, Mario Goetze, Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler and Toni Kroos. That is why we decided for an option in defence and Shkodran had been convincing in our training camp, he is fit and we have full confidence in him.
If Germany remain productive going forward this summer and Mustafi winds up playing a key role at the back, Reus' injury could potentially turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Germans.
While Loew and his players will certainly miss Reus' productivity in the midfield, Germany's plethora of offensive weapons suggests Die Mannschaft can overcome their most recent loss.
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