Germany include injured stars
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP):
Germany coach Joachim Löw included all of his injured stars in his final World Cup squad yesterday following a troubled training camp and an unconvincing 2-2 draw with Cameroon.
Among the players Löw named to the squad were goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defender and captain Philipp Lahm, and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who missed Sunday's friendly against Cameroon while nursing injuries.
Löw cut three players from his provisional squad: defender Marcel Schmelzer, defender Shkodran Mustafi, and striker Kevin Volland. Schmelzer has been bothered by a knee injury, while the other two have little international experience.
The final squad includes only one real striker, Miroslav Klose, who will be 36 by the time his fourth World Cup kicks off. Klose also sat out Sunday's match, still not fully fit after a series of injuries this season.
Instead of Schmelzer, Löw picked his Borussia Dortmund teammate Erik Durm, who made his international debut against Cameroon. Also included were midfielders Christian Kramer and Matthias Ginter, who have three appearances between them.
"We have the right mixture between young, highly talented players and players with a lot of tournament experience who know what's it all about," Löw said. "Our squad is well-balanced, we have two players for each position. The players have character, the team has character.
"With this team, we are flying to Brazil with confidence, we have big goals there."
Löw has major problems two weeks before Germany's opening match against Portugal, which was apparent in the friendly against Cameroon, another team bound for the World Cup. Some key players were out of form, while others could not even play because of injuries.
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 Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal, England).
Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Schalke), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid, Spain), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea, England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich).
Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio, Italy), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal, England), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich).