Just 19 players from Joachim Löw's provisional squad arrived in Eppan, Italy on Wednesday to begin preparations for the defence of Germany's World Cup title. Around 200 supporters, many in Germany jerseys, were there to greet the team as they arrived.
Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Müller and Niklas Süle from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, who were involved in Saturday's German Cup final, as well as Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Chelsea defender Antonio Ruediger are to arrive on Friday. Toni Kroos is to join the team sometime after Saturday, when Real Madrid face Liverpool in the Champions League final.
"We're happy it's finally started."Now we can try to conjure up team spirit, concentrate and work in detail," team manager Oliver Bierhoff said shortly after arriving at the five-star Weingegg hotel in South Tyrol.
"We're thinking long and hope to be together two months."
Germany are booked into in the resort until June 7 and face Mexico in their opening World Cup Group F match 10 days later.The tournament in Russia opens on June 14, with the final to be played in Moscow on July 15.
Löw's main task at the training camp will be to decide which four players – one goalkeeper and three outfield players – to cut from his provisional squad to get his roster down to the required 23 players by June 4.
The captain and first-choice goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, must prove his fitness, after missing almost the who Bundesliga season with a broken foot.
"Jogi has already said that he will only take a 100-per cent fit Manuel Neuer with him," Bierhoff stressed. "I know that he has worked meticulously. I am still optimistic and positive that he can do it."