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Aiming for Euro 2012

Fifteen Bayern men on international duty

Last weekend, most of the Bayern first-team squad were packing their bags and leaving Munich. Straight after returning from the Kaiserslautern match, no fewer than 15 of the Munich stars began preparing to join their national set-ups. Most of the European nations embark on qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine this Friday.

The largest Bayern contingent set off on Monday for Frankfurt, meeting point for the Germany squad. Coach Joachim Löw has retained the sizeable FCB presence in his squad and called up Holger Badstuber, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos, Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose, no fewer than seven of the 21-strong party for the trip to face Belgium on Friday and the home meeting with Azerbaijan four days later.

Heavy Bayern presence in Group A

“It's the first time we’ll have met up since the World Cup, so it’ll definitely be great,” commented Müller, looking forward to the reunion with the players who impressed the world in South Africa. “It’ll be difficult, but we’ll try and recapture the form we had at the World Cup,” said Löw.

In their Group A campaign, captain Philipp Lahm and Co will cross swords with a number of their Munich team-mates. The first match in Brussels sees the Germans come up against Daniel van Buyten. The FCB defender is in the Belgium squad for that match and his country’s trip to face Turkey in Istanbul four days later.

Altintop and Alaba on the move

For the Turks, Hamit Altintop rates as one of the first names on the team sheet for new national boss Guus Hiddink. Altintop and his team-mates travel to Kazakhstan for their first match on Friday. Hamit and Co visit the Berlin Olympic stadium for the away meeting with the Germans on 8 October.

Group A features one further Bayern player in the shape of Austria international David Alaba. The Alpine republic, co-hosts of the previous Euro in 2008, open their qualifying effort on 7 September against Kazakhstan in Salzburg.