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Off on their travels

Seven called up to national squads

After just two competitive fixtures in the new domestic campaign, the coming week sees a round of international matches. Some 50 days after the Euro 2008 final between Germany and Spain in Vienna, European nations are gearing up for the September start of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. As usual, a number of Bayern stars will be away on national duty, although not as many as normal in this case.

Franck Ribéry, Willy Sagnol, Luca Toni and Tim Borowski are all at various stages of recovery from injury and will remain in Munich this week. They are joined by Hamit Altintop, who has withdrawn from Turkey’s meeting with Chile on 20 August after suffering a slight reaction to the metatarsal surgery performed earlier in the year.

Dismay for Kroos

There was disappointment too for Toni Kroos. The 18-year-old was called up by Germany coach Dieter Eilts for Tuesday evening’s U-21 European championship meeting with Moldova in Tiraspor, ending a one-year break from the international scene and handing him a U-21 debut after his starring role at the U-17 World Cup in September 2007, but the player has been forced to withdraw from the squad with a dead leg.

That leaves a seven-strong Bayern contingent to pull on national colours this week. As usual, the largest group joins up with their Germany team-mates. Philipp Lahm, Marcell Jansen, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose do not have far to travel, as they face Daniel van Buyten and Belgium in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg.

Van Bommel set for comeback

A longer trek lies ahead for Mark van Bommel, back in the Netherlands squad for the first time in two years. New supremo Bert van Marwijk, who is the Bayern captain’s father in law, has named Van Bommel in his squad to face Russia in Moscow on Wednesday. The man capped 40 times by his country declined selection in the period after the 2006 World Cup under Van Marwijk’s predecessor Marco van Basten.

Both José Ernesto Sosa and Breno are in any case away from Munich at the Olympics, where they now go head-to-head in the semi-finals for Argentina and Brazil respectively.