After a two-year break from the national team, primarily due to injury unfortunately, Marco Reus took to the field two days after his 29th birthday to win his 30th cap for the senior national team. The Borussia Dortmund man was substituted on during the second half of the 1-2 defeat to Austria in Klagenfurt.

Having passed the fitness test, Reus is on the cusp of participating in a World Cup for the first time after being unable to travel to the tournament in 2014 because of an ankle injury, and after missing the 2016 European Championships due to an injury to his pubic bone.

"I have been absent for two years. That's why it was very important for me to be able to pull on these colours again today", said Reus to ZDF after his first international match in 795 days: "Of course, I wish the match had turned out differently."

National team manager Joachim Löw attested to the Borussia man's efforts in training, and explained at a press conference on Friday: "Marco is incredibly talented and intelligent, and he is unpredictable for opponents. His ability in his plays is unbelievable. He makes it look easy, like child's play. His timing is perfect, in his passing game too. He is astute in his shooting. He has made a good impression on me. Marco is a rocket."

The BVB star will have been happy to hear it. If he is named in the final World Cup squad, he will play an important role in Russia. He said in a DFB interview: "I aspire to helping the team – on the pitch. I know what I am capable of. The manager decides who plays, and every player must respect his authority." (br)