Germany national coach Joachim Loew has named his 21 member squad for the first two qualification matches for the 2012 European Championships to be played in the Ukraine and Poland. And not surprisingly missing from the squad is former captain Michael Ballack, who has so far played only one and a half matches after coming back from injury. This means that Philipp Lahm will remain captain for at another two matches and the decision about Ballack's future has been pushed back by a month.
The squad contains 17 players who played the World Cup in South Africa plus three player who missed the tournament due to injury in Rene Adler, Heiko Westermann and Christian Traesch; and Sascha Riether as back-up right back. Missing due to injuries are Arne Friedrich, Jerome Boateng, Piotr Trochowski und Dennis Aogo, while defender Serdar Tasci has been left out due to lack of match practice and keeper Hans-Joerg Butt retired after the World Cup. Also missing will be the captain for the Denmark game last month in Thomas Hitzlsperger, who is also out injured.
The summer fairytale of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is over and now the focus shifts back again to the 2012 European Championship qualifiers. Germany first travel to Brussels to face Belgium on September 3 in a tricky opening game, while they then host Azerbaijan in Cologne on September 7.
1-Manuel Neuer (FC Schalke 04), 12-Tim Wiese (SV Werder Bremen), 22-Rene Adler (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)
2-Marcell Jansen (Hamburger SV), 4-Sascha Riether (VfL Wolfsburg), 5-Heiko Westermann (Hamburger SV) , 14-Holger Badstuber (FC Bayern Munich), 16-Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern Munich), 17-Per Mertesacker (SV Werder Bremen)
6-Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), 7-Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern Munich), 8-Mesut Oezil (Real Madrid), 10-Lukas Podolski (1. FC Cologne), 13-Thomas Mueller (FC Bayern Munich), 18-Toni Kroos (FC Bayern Munich), 21-Marko Marin (SV Werder Bremen), 24-Christian Traesch (VfB Stuttgart)
9-Stefan Kiessling (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), 11-Miroslav Klose (FC Bayern Munich), 19-Cacau (VfB Stuttgart), 23-Mario Gomez (FC Bayern Munich)