Dortmund’s Moukoko, 17, and Saints’ Bella-Kotchap make Germany World Cup squad


Germany handed a surprise call-up to Borussia Dortmund’s 17-year-old forward Youssoufa Moukoko for their 26-man World Cup squad, while Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap was also included.

Germany head coach Hansi Flick announced his 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar, with the teenager Moukoko, who has scored six times in the Bundesliga this season, selected following the absence of the injured Timo Werner.

Werder Bremen forward Niclas Fullkrug also earned a spot after a stellar season with 10 goals so far.

Saints centre-back Bella-Kotchap is one of four Premier League players included in the squad along with West Ham defender Thilo Kehrer, Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and Chelsea forward Kai Havertz.

Germany's Kai Havertz, left, celebrates with his teammate Leroy Sane', center, and Timo Werner after scoring his side's second goal during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between England and Germany at Wembley stadium in London, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Image: Chelsea’s Kai Havertz and Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sane are both heading to Qatar with Germany

There was also a sensational return for 30-year-old midfielder Mario Gotze, who is back in the national team after five years out.

Gotze, who scored the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, is back to his best after returning to the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt this season.

“Mario Gotze is there. 2017 was the last time. Mario is totally happy and so are we to have him. It gives us many options,” Flick told a news conference.

Germany’s World Cup squad in full

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Defenders: Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), Niklas Sule (Borussia Dortmund), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Thilo Kehrer (West Ham United), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Armel Bella-Kotchap (Southampton), Christian Gunter (Freiburg)

Midfielders: Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Muller (all Bayern Munich), Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Mario Gotze (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Strikers: Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Youssoufa Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund), Niklas Fullkrug (Werder Bremen), Karim Adeyemi (Borussia Dortmund)

Germany’s World Cup group stage fixtures

All kick-offs GMT

Germany vs Japan – November 23, kick-off 1pm

Spain vs Germany – November 27, kick-off 7pm

Costa Rica vs Germany – December 1, kick-off 7pm

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