Bayern Munich striker Sandro Wagner has announced that he is retiring from international football after being left out of Joachim Löw's Germany squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The 30-year-old had to be consoled by his Bayern teammates in training on Tuesday after learning that he would play no part in Die Mannschaft's World Cup defence. Wagner made his Germany debut in June 2017 and scored five goals in eight appearances, but that will apparently be the extent of his international career.
"I hereby retire from the national team with immediate effect," he told Bild. "It's clear that my way of always being open, honest and direct means that I don't fit in with the coaching team."
"I would be lying if I said I'm not disappointed," Wagner added. "The World Cup would have been great. But at least my children are very happy that I can spend a lot of time with them over the summer."
Löw chose to include three recognised strikers in his provisional 27-man squad: RB Leipzig's Timo Werner, VfB Stuttgart's Mario Gomez and Freiburg's Nils Petersen. Werner has long been considered first-choice, and while Gomez was by no means assured of a place, the 32-year-old's recent resurgence and major tournament experience clearly weighed in his favour. The real surprise package was Petersen – this season's top-scoring German in the Bundesliga with 15 goals – who has yet to make his senior international debut.
"My job as national manager is unfortunately also to shatter dreams and make hard choices," Löw admitted. "It is never against a player, but always in the interests of the team. It was a decision for Gomez and Petersen, not against Sandro."
Wagner will now be focused on helping boyhood club Bayern complete a domestic double as they take on Eintracht Frankfurt in Saturday's DFB Cup final. The Munich native has scored nine goals in 17 appearances for the Bundesliga champions since his January move from Hoffenheim.