(Reuters) - Midfielder Emre Can believes the high number of talented players eligible for the German national team is keeping the squad sharp ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Can, who has 18 caps for Germany, was part of the team that won the Confederations Cup this year and is competing with established players like Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira, who were in the 2014 World Cup-winning squad.
“The competition for places helps because you always have to be ready, always giving 100 percent,” Can is quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“If you have one bad season, maybe you aren’t in the squad. That’s normal because we have so many good young players, a big, big pool of players.”
The 23-year-old Liverpool player also has to compete with Germany’s youngsters including a host of players from the Under-21 squad that won this year’s Under-21 European Championship.
“We went to the Confederations Cup with a young team so I don’t think many people expected us to win that. We played a lot of players who hadn’t been in the national team,” Can added.
“So to win it, playing a great tournament, (means) a lot of nations have respect. The Under-21s also won so everyone can see how big and how good the group is in Germany.”
Can last played for Germany in their 5-1 win over Azerbaijan in a World Cup qualifier last month, scoring his first international goal.
“It’s not always easy to come to the national team and be on the bench,” Can added.
Germany play England in a friendly later on Friday and France on Tuesday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond