Captain Gündogan, Rüdiger and Kimmich among latest Euro 2024 nominees

Germany's Ilkay Guendogan (L) celebrates scoring his side's first goal with temmate Antonio Ruediger, during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E soccer match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium. Christian Charisius/dpa

Captain Ilkay Gündogan, Antonio Rüdiger and Joshua Kimmich led the way as a unique and unconventional German squad nomination process for the Euro 2024 home tournament neared its end on Wednesday.

The ruling body DFB chose to announce players via traditional and social media, influencers, TV celebrities, an art gallery, national carriers Lufthansa and even a döner kebab shop owner before the official presentation by coach Julian Nagelsmann set for Thursday.

By doing so, the DFB managed to generate lots of excitement in a widely acclaimed scheme while at the same time having full control over the process after several names were leaked by media ahead of the last games in March.

In all, 16 players were announced by Wednesday afternoon. The final squad which has to be submitted by June 7 can have no more than 26 players but Nagelsmann may chose more players in his provisional list on Thursday.

"It's about creating lots of emotional moments for this country, for the fans, for the kids, for the people who are in the stadium, who are in front of the TV, who are out and about in the streets," Nagelsmann recently told Magenta TV about the Euros.

Döner kebab memories for Rüdiger

Defence stalwart Rüdiger of Real Madrid was named by the owner of a Berlin döner kebab shop he frequented as a school kid.

"Hi, Antonio, my good man. I wanted to let you know that you've been nominated for the European Championships. As you were also a guest of mine as a pupil, the first 50 pupils will get a free döner kebab today," he said in an Instagram video.

Rüdiger replied in the comments section: "Hisar kebab = best kebab. Huge anticipation for the tournament - let's goooo."

Gündogan was also unveiled in the capital city where the Euro final will take place on July 14, via a billboard on Alexanderplatz square.

Gündogan, who has 77 caps, was appointed captain last year when Manuel Neuer was sidelined with a foot fracture, and coach Julian Nagelsmann has said that he will remain skipper despite goalkeeper Neuer now being back.

Kroos himself names his midfield partner Andrich

Rüdiger's Madrid team-mate and 2014 World Cup winner Toni Kroos, who came out of international retirement in May, revealed the name of his midfield partner Andrich from Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen news in the latest edition of the "Einfach mal Luppen" podcast he runs together with his brother, Felix Kroos.

"I'm delighted that we're allowed to do this here, especially with Rob. We've discussed our relationship with him, and I'm very pleased to be able to say that my good friend Robert Andrich, with whom I played for Union [Berlin] a few years ago, is here officially," Felix Kroos said.

Andrich, 29, made his national team debut last autumn and played alongside Kroos in the last two games, victories against France and the Netherlands, as Kroos returned into the team from almost three years of international retirement.

The two are also expected to start at the June 14-July 14 Euros where hosts Germany meet Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland in the group stage. Kroos has not officially been named but is guaranteed to be part of the squad.

Best of the rest

Elsewhere, Actor Wolfgang Bahro announced Kimmich outside the set of long-running television soap opera "Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten" (Good Times, Bad Times), of which the 84-times capped Kimmich is a big fan.

Kimmich, 29, has been moved back from midfield to his original position of right back by club and country lately ahead of his fifth major tournament.

Brighton & Hove midfielder Gross was announced by "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" quiz show host Günther Jauch, and RB Leipzig fullback David Raum via a "Last Call" announcement by Lufthansa ground staff.

The other 10 players revealed since Sunday are goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defenders Nico Schlotterbeck, Jonathan Tah, Maximilian Mittelstädt and Robin Koch, midfielders Aleksandar Pavlovic and Chris Führich, plus forwards Leroy Sane, Niclas Füllkrug and Kai Havertz.

Veteran Thomas Müller is also expected to be a certain squad member but the DFB said that a video the popular Bayern Munich player posted on Instagram along with a Euro hashtag was no nomination confirmation.

News reports said that uncapped VfB Stuttgart goalkeeper Alexander Nübel could also make the provisional squad after playing a strong season.

Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka and Dortmund defender Mats Hummels are set to miss out as Nagelsmann seeks a balance in his squad between sure starters and hungry challengers in order to achieve success and make the fans happy.

"When you take part in a tournament, when you take part in a game, the basic idea should be to win it," Nagelsmann told Magenta.

"The result is always decisive in the end. But first of all, it's about us playing in such a way that every German can identify with it and say that I enjoy watching this team.

The final countdown

Nagelsmann will gather his squad on May 26 for pre-Euros training and tune-up games against Ukraine on June 3 and Greece on June 7.

Rüdiger and Kroos as well as Borussia Dortmund's Schlotterbeck and Füllkrug will miss the first week of training, and probably the Ukraine game, because their clubs contest the Champions League final on June 1.

Germany's Joshua Kimmich gestures as he leaves the pitch jubilant following the international friendly soccer match between Germany and Netherlands at Deutsche Bank Park. Kimmich has been confirmed as the latest German Euro 2024 squad member, by actor Wolfgang Bahro. Arne Dedert/dpa
Germany's Joshua Kimmich gestures as he leaves the pitch jubilant following the international friendly soccer match between Germany and Netherlands at Deutsche Bank Park. Kimmich has been confirmed as the latest German Euro 2024 squad member, by actor Wolfgang Bahro. Arne Dedert/dpa