Germany fans paid tribute to Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller, and Jerome Boateng on Wednesday during the national team’s friendly with Serbia after the Bayern Munich trio were axed ahead of the latest round of international fixtures.
Following Germany’s dismal World Cup campaign last summer, when they entered the tournament as reigning champions but suffered a shock group-stage exit, and then poor results in the UEFA Nations League last autumn, head coach Joachim Low took the decision to bring through younger players into the national team ahead of the Euro 2020 qualification campaign.
As part of the change in approach, Low told the veteran trio, who had been national team stalwarts since before the 2014 World Cup triumph, that they would no longer be considered for selection.
Muller, 29, and Boateng, 30, have both played in three World Cups for Germany, making their debuts in 2010 when Germany finished as the third-placed team, while 30-year-old Hummels appeared in two tournaments.
Wednesday’s friendly was the first game Germany were playing since the three players were informed by Low of his decision, and given their distinguished service the fans in attendance put together a moving tribute.
At the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, fans at one entire end of the stadium displayed a message that said “Danke, 5-13-17”, a thank you followed by the three players’ kit numbers for the national team.
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