MUNICH — Bayern Munich striker Sandro Wagner has announced his retirement from international football after Germany coach Joachim Low left him out of the reigning champions’ provisional World Cup squad on Tuesday.
Wagner, 30, joined Bayern from Hoffenheim in January to increase his chances of playing in Russia. However, Low couldn’t find a place for Wagner despite a tally of eight league goals for the Bundesliga champions in 14 matches.
“I am hereby retiring from the national team with immediate effect,” Wagner told Bild.
“It’s clear that my open, honest and straightforward manner doesn’t fit in with the coaching team. I wish the lads all the best in Russia and hope that they return as world champions.”
Low instead selected Leipzig’s Timo Werner and former Bayern strikers Mario Gomez (Stuttgart) and Nils Petersen. Petersen scored 15 league goals for Freiburg this past season — a record eight as a substitute and five from the penalty spot. Although uncapped at senior level, Petersen was the top scorer at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, when Germany won the silver medal.
Wagner was spotted in tears at Bayern’s training session on Tuesday shortly after Low’s announcement.
He said: “I would be lying if I said I’m not disappointed. Playing in the World Cup would have been great.
“Of course, I can’t take this seriously, but as I have often said in the past, there are more important things in life than football.”
Wagner made his debut for Germany in June, scoring five goals in eight games. He was part of the side that won the Confederations Cup last summer in Russia.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.