Leaving Sané out of Germany’s World Cup team makes no sense, says Ballack

Michael Ballack believes there is more going on behind the scenes between Joachim Low and Leroy Aziz Sané than has been said following the Manchester City star’s shock omission from Germany’s World Cup squad.

Sané is the son of former German rhythmic gymnast and the 1984 Summer Olympics bronze medalist Regina Weber and former footballer and Senegalese international Souleymane Sané.

Sané played a key role in City’s successful 2017-18 campaign and was widely expected to make Germany’s squad for the upcoming tournament in Russia.

Nevertheless, Low surprisingly opted against picking the 22-year-old as he preferred Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt instead.

Ballack is not convinced Low’s decision was merely a tactical one, however, and suspects there might be issues between Sané and the Germany boss.

“For me, it makes no sense at all. As you mention it, he had a great season,” Ballack told Goal during the Betfair road to Russia preview. “The way he is playing football I think suits every team. There’s no tactical scheme which doesn’t allow him not to be in the first XI or even in the squad.

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“There must be something going on behind the scenes where he is not happy with Leroy Sané to make the decision. He should say this then, so everyone knows that this has happened why he is not part of the squad. Football-wise, it is very hard to understand.”

Ballack played 99 times for his country and captained his side for two major international tournaments. He fell short of winning the World Cup, finishing second and third in 2002 and 2006 respectively.

The former Chelsea and Bayern Munich star does think that Germany have more pressure on them this year than in previous World Cups but he ranks them among the favourites, even without Sané in their squad.

“We have a great squad. He is really lucky to pick from so many good players. It is not just one Leroy Sané, we have lots of different players with [Marco] Reus, with [Julian] Draxler who also not always playing but he trusts them more at the moment. You have to accept that but he has options, that’s the main thing.”