After injury put Jerome Boateng’s World Cup spot with Germany into doubt, the Berlin-born defender put all his focus into returning to fitness. Now, after Joachim Löw included him in his final squad, Boateng says he’s ready to start.
“Right now, I can promise that I'll be ready for the World Cup in Russia,” Boateng told German publication BILD am Sonntag.
The Bayern star has been with the Germany squad for two weeks in South Tyrol, Italy, and has now taken the step to join full team training.
"I'm at 90%, I started sprints and ball training and things are looking good,” Boateng explained. “I'm well on schedule, but I don't want to take any risks. Injuries happen in football, and I suffered one at a bad time."
The 29-year-old was injured after 30 minutes of Bayern’s UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid in April and has not played competitively since. He was rested as Germany lost 2-1 to Austria on Saturday in a friendly.
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Boateng, like Bayern teammate Manuel Neuer, has been working tirelessly to be fit the tournament this summer, with both being included in the final 23-man squad.
The 29-year-old started all seven matches of Germany's World Cup title-winning campaign in Brazil four years ago. Alongside Mats Hummels, the Berlin native forms the first-choice pairing in the centre of defence for club and country.
Boateng could be involved in Germany’s final warm-up game before the World Cup on Friday, 8 June against Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen.