Germany veterans Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels can ride to rescue at Euro 2020 after Joachim Low swallowed his pride

LOTHAR MATTHAUS reckons the return of warriors Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller will galvanise Germany.

The pair and ex-Bayern Munich club-mate Jerome Boateng were booted out of the squad by Joachim Low and told they would never play for Germany again following the 2018 World Cup debacle.

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Muller and Hummels are returning to the German side after a two year exclusion[/caption]

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Matthaus won the Euros with Germany in 1980 and then the World Cup ten years later[/caption]

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Muller has scored eight goals at the World Cup but never netted at the Euros[/caption]

But Low swallowed his pride to give the two 2014 World Cup winners a recall this summer after a series of disasters.

That included their 6-0 drubbing by Spain and a home defeat at the hands of minnows North Macedonia.

And Matthaus, a Euros winner back in 1980, says the decision has transformed the mood and mentality of Die Mannschaft.

Ahead of their blockbuster opener on Tuesday night against world champs France, Matthaus said: “It wasn’t just me who was unhappy with Germany in the last three years.

“All the fans have been very angry about the performances.

“Earlier this season, when we were humiliated by Spain and lost to North Macedonia, the team looked dead.

“There was no power, smiling or communication, from the coach either. He was sitting on the bench looking as if he was asleep, not reacting, not even showing anger.

“He didn’t seem interested and neither did the team. There was no power, reaction or passion.

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Muller arrived for training by bike earlier this week[/caption]

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And Hummels followed suit as the pair enjoyed their return to the Germany set-up[/caption]

“But he brought back Muller and Hummels and that was very good for the team, dressing room and young players as they are real leaders.”

Matthaus says it was “weakness” rather than strength on Low’s part. But, he added, it has already made a critical difference.

Bayern star Muller, 31, can play as a midfielder or forward, while Borussia Dortmund defender Hummels, 32, has huge experience, too.

Matthaus said: “When Muller walks into a room, it shines. When he goes on the pitch, everybody is happy. We were missing this.

“Low did it out of weakness, but now he seems motivated to make his last tournament a good one. He has nothing to lose.

“He doesn’t have to think about the future, about after the Euros, because that’s not his job any more. He just has to concentrate on the moment — the next four weeks.

“All these players have had their entire national team careers under him. He brought them into the team, so they have to give him a farewell present.

“What I have seen already is positive energy. Everybody is getting behind the team. We have 11  players from Chelsea and Bayern Munich — the last two Champions League winners — plus Gundogan, Kroos, other quality players.”

Legend Matthaus, 60, was speaking as new research commissioned by Booking.com found two-thirds of German football fans would rather let their rivals win Euro 2020 than miss out on their next holiday.

But he thinks the fans can lift their players’ spirits after failure to even reach the knockout stages at the 2018 World Cup.

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Low is heading into his seventh tournament as Germany’s head coach[/caption]

He added: “We are at home in the group stage, in Munich, and we can feel the country getting behind the team to motivate them.

“Then we will see if that is enough. France are better than Germany, so we will lose against them, draw with Portugal and beat Hungary, for four points.

“That will be enough to go through in third place.

“We don’t want to play against England at Wembley in the last 16. We can wait for that until the final.

“Even if we are third, I expect Germany to reach the semis, along with England, Belgium and France, who are rightly the favourites.

“But I wouldn’t want to have to play against England immediately after France and Portugal.

“Remember in 2016, Portugal won the title after coming third in their group. Now Germany can do the same thing…

“In 1986, we were third in our group and went all the way to the World Cup final. All that matters is getting through to the knockout phase — that’s when it gets serious.”

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