After being left off the Die Mannschaft provisional squad by Joachim Löw, Sandro Wagner has retired from the German national team. Wagner, who was visibly broken by the news when it hit during Bayern Munich’s training session on Tuesday, has decided to dedicate his focus on his club career.
“I am hereby retiring from the national team with immediate effect,” Wagner told Bild. ”It’s clear that my open, honest and straightforward manner doesn’t fit in with the coaching team. I wish the lads all the best in Russia and hope that they return as world champions.”
Wagner, who has many times claimed to be the “best German striker”, was expected to make the team by many, but was supplanted by RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner, SC Freiburg’s Nils Petersen, and VfB Stuttgart’s Mario Gomez. With four cuts to still to make, Löw could still let go either Gomez or Petersen when naming his final roster.
Despite Wagner’s opinion of his own place in that pecking order, Werner has long been thought to be the starter, but it was the respctive selections of Petersen and Gomez over Wagner that really left many people confused.
Wagner was spotted in tears at Bayern’s training session on Tuesday shortly after Löw’s announcement. He said: “I would be lying if I said I’m not disappointed. Playing in the World Cup would have been great. Of course, I can’t take this seriously, but as I have often said in the past, there are more important things in life than football.” Wagner made his debut for Germany in June, scoring five goals in eight games. He was part of the side that won the Confederations Cup last summer in Russia.
Wagner’s performance since leaving TSG Hoffenheim for Bayern Munich has been nothing short of excellent for Die Roten. Playing primarily as a backup behind high-scoring Pole Robert Lewandowski, nine of Wagner’s goals have come as a member of Bayern Munich. Overall, Wagner has 31 appearances across all competitions for the season, with 14 goals and four assists.