Berlin- Appearances for Germany and high praise from the boss had given some small indications, but what all Hertha fans hoped for was confirmed on Monday afternoon: Marvin Plattenhardt will represent Germany at this summer’s FIFA World Cup.The left-back was on the list selected to fly to the tournament by Joachim Löw.
“I have dreamed of being at a World Cup ever since I was a small boy. Realising this dream makes me feel fulfilled. I am so happy and will look to cherish every moment I am out there. I’ll give everything I can and look to fill the duty given to me by the coaching staff,” said the 26-year-old.
The defender also took time to give a thought to Bernd Leno, Jonathan Tah, Nils Petersen and Leroy Sane, who did not make the final 23 cut. “I feel sorry for those boys, it was such a tough decision to make.”
Germany’s aim at Russia 2018 is ‘Mission title defence’. As a coach it’s important to see the whole picture. We want to be flexible going into these World Cup games and be ready for that in the squad, so that we are prepared for all eventualities during the tournament,” said Löw, who makes Plattenhardt the first Hertha player to go to a World Cup since Arne Friedrich.
Die Mannschaft will meet Mexico (17 June), Sweden (23 June) and South Korea (27 June) in Group F and will travel to Russia on 12 June, after one final friendly against Saudi Arabia (8 June) in Leverkusen.
Marvin joins Genki and Mat
Plattenhardt was never going to be the only Hertha player in Russia, and the left backs inclusion means three of those for the capital will turn out for their countries. The Japanese midfielder, who spent the second half of the season on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf, will meet Colombia (19 June), Senegal (24 June) and Poland (28 June) in Group H.
Mathew Leckie and the Soccerroos meanwhile will play in Group C alongside France (16 June), Denmark (21 June) and Peru (26 June), and will head to Russia after a friendly with Hungary on 9 June. Japan will play two more friendlies before the tournament, against Switzerland on 8 June and Paraguay on 12 June.