Time for a gut check, Germany.
Sami Khedira, the box-to-box midfielder who sparkled for Germany in the last few matches, has picked up a calf injury in warmups enough so he cannot go in the World Cup final.
Instead, 23-year-old Christoph Kramer will take his place.
Kramer, who plays for Borussia Monchengladbach, has just four caps for the senior team compared to Khedira’s 51. He made his debut in a May friendly against Poland.
Khedira, a Real Madrid star, worked tirelessly to return from an ACL injury during the club season, and he returned just in time for the start of the World Cup. He looked shaky in the Champions League final for Madrid, but has been outstanding in Brazil.