"Ain't nothing gonna hold me back!" Germany's Marco Reus is poised to make his World Cup debut in Russia. - © © imago
"Ain't nothing gonna hold me back!" Germany's Marco Reus is poised to make his World Cup debut in Russia. - © © imago

Joachim Löw thrilled to have Marco "the rocket" Reus on board for Germany's FIFA World Cup defence


Germany head coach Joachim Löw has lavished praise on Marco Reus, likening the Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder to "a rocket".

Reus, 29, has missed Germany's last two major tournaments through injury, but is expected to play a prominent role in Die Mannschaft's FIFA World Cup defence in Russia after ending the domestic season with seven goals in 11 Bundesliga appearances.

"He's an incredibly skilful and intelligent player, a real handful for the opposition," Löw said ahead of Saturday's World Cup warm-up match against Austria in Klagenfurt.

"He's so able, he makes it look so easy and playful. His timing is spot-on, even his passing. He's clinical. He's making a really good impression, and he'll play against Austria. Marco's like a rocket!"

A reflection of his torrid run of injuries down the years, the Austria game will represent Reus' first in a Germany shirt since March 2016, and only his 30th since making his senior international debut in October 2011.

He played at UEFA EURO 2012, but missed the 2014 World Cup after partially tearing ankle ligaments in a pre-tournament friendly against Armenia.

Two years later, injury once again denied him his place in Germany's squad, for EURO 2016.

Watch: Reus discusses his checkered injury history and hopes for the future

"It's good for us and it's good for him that he's been with us longer now," continued Löw, who opted against calling up Reus for the March friendlies with Brazil and Spain, the Dortmund man having only returned to action six weeks earlier following eight months out with a knee ligament tear.

"It was important for him to get used to the team. I hope he comes through the next few weeks unscathed, then we can all look forward to seeing Marco at the World Cup."

Löw must submit his final 23-man World Cup squad - omitting four players from his provisional selection - to FIFA by 4 June.

Click here for LIVE build-up and coverage of Austria vs. Germany!