Coach Antonio Di Salvo has announced his Germany U21s squad for the final official friendlies before the European U-21 Championship in Romania and Georgia this summer (June 21 to July 8). The title holders will host Japan in Frankfurt on March 24 (18:15 CET) and face Romania in Sibiu on March 28 (18:00 CET). Henning Matriciani of FC Schalke 04 has been called up for the first time.
Faride Alidou, Ansgar Knauff (both Eintracht Frankfurt), Jamie Leweling (1. FC Union Berlin), Jessic Ngankam (Hertha BSC, yet to win his first cap) and Patrick Osterhage (VfL Bochum) have all returned to the squad after missing out on the 4-2 win over Italy in November 2022.
Armel Bella Kotchap (Southampton), Felix Nmecha (VfL Wolfsburg), Kevin Schade (Brentford) and Josha Vagnoman (VfB Stuttgart) have been selected by Hansi Flick to represent the senior side.
“We now don’t have long until the European Championship,” said Di Salvo. “We want to use these two friendlies to work on our play and tactics ahead of the tournament, even if some of our key players are missing. This will just give younger players the chance to impress before the EUROs. Our first game is against Japan, an Asian side, which is unusual for us. Everybody saw the potential their team possesses at the recent FIFA World Cup. Romania are a team that have impressed at the last two European Championships.”
The coach added: “We have been in regular contact over the past few days with the players that Hansi has called up. Getting a chance at the highest level is a great achievement for the lads. They will be tested out there and can pick up some vital experience before the European Championship later this year.”
The Germany U-21s will arrive in Frankfurt at lunchtime on Monday (20th March) after a joint press conference by Antonio Di Salvo, Hansi Flick and sporting director Rudi Völler at the DFB campus. As part of the ‘Herzzeigen’ campaign, the team will receive a visit from people affected by the “Du musst kämpfen” (You have to fight) initiative that helps children with cancer.
The group will depart Frankfurt for Sibiu on Sunday, 26th March for their final official friendly before the European Championship. The title holders are in Group C along with Israel (June 22, 18:00 CEST), Czech Republic (June 25, 18:00 CEST) and England (June 28, 18:00 CEST). The top two teams in each group will reach the quarterfinals.
Nico Mantl (Red Bull Salzburg), Christian Früchtl (Austria Wien), Noah Atubolu (SC Freiburg)
Kilian Fischer (VfL Wolfsburg), Noah Katterbach (Hamburger SV), Malick Thiaw (AC Milan), Maximilian Bauer (FC Augsburg), Henning Matriciani (FC Schalke 04), Yann Aurel Bisseck (Aarhus GF), Jordan Beyer (Burnley FC), Luca Netz (Gladbach)
Tom Krauß (FC Schalke 04), Ansgar Knauff (Eintracht Frankfurt), Yannik Keitel (SC Freiburg), Jessic Ngankam (Hertha BSC), Angelo Stiller (TSG Hoffenheim), Maurice Malone (Wolfsberger AC), Patrick Osterhage (VfL Bochum), Eric Martel (1.FC Köln), Noah Weißhaupt (SC Freiburg), Denis Huseinbasic (1.FC Köln), Jamie Leweling (1.FC Union Berlin), Faride Alidou (Eintracht Frankfurt)