Joachim Low has confirmed his final 23-man Germany squad for the FIFA World Cup - with Miroslav Klose his only out-and-out striker.
The veteran needs to score just twice in Brazil to become the World Cup's all-time leading goalscorer - Ronaldo is the current record holder with 15.
Kevin Volland had been the other forward in Low's initial 30-man squad but the Hoffenheim man joins defenders Shkodran Mustafi and Marcel Schmelzer as those to have dropped out.
Lars Bender, Maximilian Meyer, Leon Goretzka, Marcell Jansen and Andre Hahn had previously been cut, with Christoph Kramer added to the party.
"Of course Shkodran, Marcel and Kevin are now very disappointed. I understand that, but they had every reason to hope to be going to Brazil," Low said in a statement on the DFB's official website.
"(Assistant coach) Hansi Flick and I informed the players of the decision in a personal chat. All three are players still have the opportunity to play at big tournaments in their careers."
Germany were less than convincing in their penultimate warm-up friendly against Cameroon - drawing 2-2 in Monchengladbach - and will play their final pre-World Cup match against Armenia on Friday.
Klose did not add to his 131 caps against the Africans due to fitness concerns, as Germany experimented with a 'false-nine' system in his absence.
Despite consecutive draws against Poland and Cameroon, Low retains high hopes for his squad in Brazil.
"I believe in all of the players 100 per cent. We have the right mix of young, highly talented footballers and players with a lot of tournament experience who know what it takes," he added.
"Our squad is balanced, each position is occupied twice. Our players have character (and) the team has character. With this squad we fly confidently to Brazil, where we have big goals."
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover).
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal).
Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Christoph Kramer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg).
Forwards: , Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)comments