The German Football Association have forcefully ended the international careers of World Cup winners striker Thomas Muller and defenders Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels.
Germany boss Joachim Low reportedly travelled down to Munich to inform the trio who play for Bayern Munich about his decision to drop them from the national team.
With close to 250 internationals between them, Hummels has (70 caps), Muller (100) and Boateng (74) for Germany.
‘I thank Mats, Jerome, and Thomas for the many successful, extraordinary and unique years we shared,’ Low said in a statement issued by the German FA.
‘Now it is time to set the course for the future. We want to give the team a new look.
‘I am convinced that this is the right step. The youngsters coming through will have the room they need to grow. Now it’s up to them to take on responsibility.’
‘2019 is a new beginning for the Germany national team,’ he said.
‘It was important for me to personally explain my decision to the players and the FC Bayern management.’
Taking to Twitter to react, Boateng wrote: ‘I am personally convinced that I can still play at the highest level and will continue to do so,’
‘I was always extremely proud to wear the national team top and I will never forget the summer of 2014. But I would have obviously wished for a different departure.’
He added on Instagram: ‘German coach Joachim Low told me today in a straightforward interview that I will not continue to be part of the DFB team, he wants to offer young players the stage in the future and especially in view of the upcoming tournaments of the team wants to give a new face.
‘I am sad about this news because it has always been the greatest thing for me to represent my country.
‘Nevertheless, I respect the new course and understand the decision of the national coach. I was young myself and reliant on older players to make room for me. Personally, I am convinced that I can continue to play at the highest level and will continue to do so in the future.
‘I will always look back with great pleasure on the time spent in the DFB team. I have always been extremely proud to wear the jersey of the national team and I will never forget summer 2014 in particular. Of course, I would have wished for another farewell for us.