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World Cup, Confed Cup and friendlies

Eight Bayern men on international duty

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The FCB team for the Kaufbeuren friendly on Tuesday featured just six first-team regulars. Thursday’s encounter in Eichstätt, and the two final post-season matches in Magdeburg and Sittard, are unlikely to see that figure rise. A couple of players are injured, but a large Bayern contingent is already away on its travels, contesting international fixtures on four continents.

Some 9,000 kilometres from Munich, Germany meet China in Shanghai on Friday evening (29 May). Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and soon-to-be Munich man Mario Gomez are in boss Joachim Löw’s depleted squad. Lahm and Schweinsteiger are among the candidates to captain their country, as senior players Michael Ballack and Miroslav Klose, who is still recovering from ankle surgery, are not making the trip. Germany round off their friendly tour on 2 June in Dubai against the United Arab Emirates.

South America:
Brazil skipper Lucio and Argentine defender Martin Demichelis are battling for vital World Cup qualifying points. Neither country has hit the heights in qualifying yet. With around half the fixtures played, Brazil are second in the table, but could take a giant stride towards a place in South Africa when they visit Uruguay and entertain leaders Paraguay. The same applies to Argentina, currently occupying the fourth and final direct qualifying spot ahead of Uruguay. Diego Maradona’s team entertain Colombia, before the arduous task of a meeting with Ecuador 2,800 metres above sea level in Quito. The games take place on 6 and 10 June.