(Reuters) - Germany manager Joachim Loew’s decision to pick Julian Brandt over Leroy Sane in the nation’s 23-man squad for the World Cup makes no sense, former captain Michael Ballack has said.
Sane had his best season for Manchester City last campaign, scoring 10 goals to help the club seal the Premier League title and earning a PFA Young Player of the Year award in the process.
However, Loew said a “tight decision” had to be made between him and Bayer Leverkusen winger Brandt for Germany’s World Cup contingent.
“I can’t explain that. For me there is no photo finish. I can’t see it,” Ballack told British media.
“There’s 23 players in the squad, to say you only see him in the position Julian Brandt is playing - you have to have a fantasy to believe that.
“Brandt is a good, talented player... But he didn’t play on the level that Leroy Sane played. Sane was at a bigger club, with bigger expectations, with better players. Nothing against Julian Brandt, but I can’t explain why Loew compared the two.”
Holders Germany kick-off their World Cup campaign against Mexico in Group F on June 17. Sweden and South Korea are the other teams in the group.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford