The attacking midfielder has fierce competition for a place in a Germany squad that is brimming with attacking talent, but coach Joachim Löw knows all about the quality Reus brings to any side. After his brace and all-round brilliant display in Matchday 31's 4-0 humbling of Bayer Leverkusen and assist against Werder Bremen a week later, bundesliga.com outlines five reasons why Reus has to get his World Cup chance this season.
1) Because he's brilliant
It's that simple. Why else would you pick a player in your World Cup squad? Well, with Reus, the statistics back up what could otherwise be just a judgment. After an injury-destroyed first half of the season, the 28-year-old has enjoyed a renaissance in 2018, scoring five goals in nine games to help all but secure Dortmund UEFA Champions League football next season. His overall Bundesliga record reads 231 games, 97 goals and 64 assists, hugely impressive numbers indeed. It isn't just his stats that deserve recognition, however. Reus is arguably Germany's most technically gifted footballer. He can strike a free-kick better than anyone and has scored eight times against Bayern Munich, five against Schalke and has bagged many a goal in the Champions League knockout rounds. Mentally, Reus has what it takes to excel.
Watch: Reus reflects on his career in an exclusive bundesliga.com interview
2) Because he's versatile
Reus may have spent most of his career on the wing or as an attacking midfielder, but with Michy Batshuayi's recent injury depriving Dortmund of an out-and-out striker, he has stepped up to the plate to show he can score as well as he can make goals. His most prolific season to date was his final one at Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2011/12, when the Foals cantered into the Champions League places with Reus playing up front beside Mike Hanke. Coach Lucien Favre usually employed a 4-4-2 formation and Reus was the focal point of the attack in 17 of his 32 appearances. He also played up front when he lifted his first major trophy – the 2017 DFB Cup – partnering Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
3) Because he fears nobody
How many players can say have scored against everybody? Go through a list of Bundesliga strikers and you'll see the names Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gomez who have succeeded in scoring at least once against all 18 Bundesliga clubs. They are paid to be prolific; their names are synonymous with goalscoring. However, you'll also see Reus' name on that list. He's pulled off precisely the same trick, but bear in mind not only he has made significantly fewer than their 255 and 294 respective German top-flight appearances, but that he spends less of his time in the opposition penalty area and more just outside it. As we've mentioned, on the big stage, Reus delivers. If you have a penalty shootout at the World Cup, then Reus should be one of your five takers.
Watch: Reus' 18 goals against 18 opponents
4) Because he's in his prime
Philipp Lahm was 30 when he captained Germany to World Cup glory four years ago; Cristiano Ronaldo was 31 when he led Portugal to glory at UEFA EURO 2016; the great Franz Beckenbauer was 28 when he won the World Cup in 1974; and Lothar Matthäus was 29 when he captained Germany to glory at Italia '90? Reus will have just turned 29 by the time the tournament kicks off on 14 June, and therefore entering his prime. He blends technical quality, mental strength and experience when he's on the field. Why wouldn't Löw avail himself of all that this summer?
5) Because he deserves it
Reus is arguably one of the unluckiest footballers of his generation. Germany lifted a fourth World Cup in Brazil in 2014, but it was unbearably cruel that Reus was not among the victorious 23-man squad. While his team-mates were celebrating, Reus was recuperating after tearing ankle ligaments in the final pre-tournament warm-up match against Armenia, and his seat on the plane was taken by Shkodran Mustafi. He could only watch on from afar as Mario Götze scored the winning goal in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana, and though Götze's post-match homage to his friend was touching, the disappointment of missing out must have been devastating for the Dortmund native.
Two years later, a groin injury ended his dreams of being involved in UEFA EURO 2016, again only hours before the squad were due to depart. "Right now, I'm just glad to be back again," Reus said in a recent bundesliga.com interview. As long as he can stay fit, an appearance at another major tournament is the least this mercurial talent deserves.
Congratulation to the whole Team! Your Dream has Come true! And Thanks to my bro for your gesture:) Believe ✌️ pic.twitter.com/Cgb6xeDq8T— Marco Reus (@woodyinho) July 14, 2014