After being utterly frustrated by his omission from Joachim Low’s provisional World Cup squad for Germany, Sandro Wagner made the decision to retire from international football. The Bayern Munich striker felt he had done enough over the past eight and half months to warrant a spot in the roster, and in his retirement announcement, said that his “honest and straightforward manner” clashed with Germany’s coaching staff.
In response to Wagner’s statement, Joachim Low stated (via kicker) that the nature of the striker’s response to being left out of the squad was distasteful and disrespectful to the other members of the squad:
I find it not so much major criticism of me personally or the coaching staff, but rather as criticism of his colleagues, who also play. He represents some of them who have been playing for us forever, who are leading players for us, as if they were perfect idiots and only with us because they never state their opinion. He says that others don’t open their mouths. What should Jerome Boateng or Mats Hummels think? That’s totally outrageous.
Löw can understand Wagner's disappointment “certainly a little bit,” but believes that his reaction was made out of pure furstration. Retiring altogether from the national team, Löw stressed, was a bit of an overreaction on Wagner’s part:
I found his reaction, his resignation also a bit exaggerated. Everyone who knows us, knows that we always urge the players to state their opinion, to be open and honest, and also to react to us critically.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness also feels that Wagner’s decision to officially retire from international play was a bit rash, and echoed Löw’s opinion, but was understanding of the striker’s perspective (via kicker):
I think he acted too hastily [and] emotionally. I wish I saw things differently, but it's his personal decision, which one has to respect.
Wagner found out that he didn’t make Germany’s provisional squad during one of Bayern’s training sessions earlier this week and was given plenty of solace by the rest of his teammates and Jupp Heynckes. Center back Mats Hummels, who was likely one of the first names on Löw’s roster sheet, was more than understanding of Wagner’s feelings and praised his work rate for Bayern:
When disappointment overcomes you for a brief time, that's very human. We consoled him, because we like him as a person. He plays an exemplary part and always pushes himself.
The final squad for the World Cup doesn’t have to be submitted until June 4th, so a lot can happen between now and then, but Wagner has removed himself from the equation entirely by retiring internationally. Hopefully, for the future of Die Mannschaft, Wagner will consider coming out of retirement after the World Cup, when qualification for Euro 2020 will begin.