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Draxler surprised by Sane’s omission from World Cup squad

Julian Draxler

Kolkata, June 12: German ace Julian Draxler feels sorry for his friend Leroy Sane who was not included in the country's 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia.

The Manchester City attacker was in the 27-man German preliminary squad. However, when boss Joachim Loew reduced the squad to 23, Sane was also left out

The omission came as a shock to whole football world and even the likes of Michael Ballack and team-mate Kevin De Bruyne expressed their dismay.

The 22-year-old was instrumental in Pep Guardiola’s side winning the Premier League as Sane scored 14 goals and had 19 assists to his name.

Draxler said Sane's exclusion came as a surprise to his German team-mates as well, but he expects the player to bounce back from the disappointment.

"That he had to go home was also a surprise for us," Draxler told reporters. "He has had a very, very strong season in England.

"I've known Leroy for a long time, we're friends, so I'm especially sorry for him. But we all have to accept the decision, the national coach will have had his reasons.

"Leroy is certainly not as relaxed as he always is. He will be very disappointed, but it will not throw him off track."

Germany will play their first match in the World Cup against Mexico on Sunday (June 17).

And after his captaining his team to Confederations Cup victory in 2017, much will be expected from Draxler.

The 24-year-old thinks he has become more matured as a player as he has been around in the team for last six years.

"I have been here permanently since I was 18 years old. I know the processes and I've matured as a player," Draxler told.

"At some point there will be a change, and then there are players who have to grow into new roles. It would be desirable for me to take a leading role. But that is of course only done by performing at club level and for the national team.

"You don't stand up and say: As of today, I'm a leader. It's a process. But it's already my goal to accomplish that."

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    Story first published: Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 14:04 [IST]
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