Created on 07-05-2012 at 00:00 AM
Germany will contest Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland with a Bayern contingent numbering up to eight players, after coach Joachim Löw announced his 27-strong preliminary squad on Monday lunchtime. Löw must reduce the group to 23 by the final deadline of 29 May. The FCB players called up are Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller and Mario Gomez.
Löw sprang a surprise by including 18-year-old Schalke sensation Julian Draxler, who has never featured in the senior squad before and could become the youngest player to represent Germany at the European championship. The Germany coach also named another new face in Borussia Mönchengladbach keeper Mark-André ter Stegen, who will duke it out with Tim Wiese and Ron-Robert Zieler for the reserve spots behind Neuer. “We've taken into account the fact that we'll be without Manuel to start with due to the Champions League final," Löw explained.
FCB men to join up late
A clutch of established names including Simon Rolfes, Dennis Aogo and Christian Träsch, and the recently in-form Patrick Helmes, failed to make the cut. Instead, Löw kept faith with Stuttgart's Cacau as back-up to Gomez and Miroslav Klose. “Klose and Gomez have outstanding ability, and Cacau has always done well as a sub, scoring a few important goals," the coach said.
The four-week preparatory phrase begins on Friday with a one-week training camp in Sardinia. The squad will be lacking the 13 men from cup finalists Bayern and Borussia Dortmund, plus overseas-based Mezut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Klose. The Bayern party will finally join up with the squad after the Champions League final on 19 May and the friendly against the Netherlands three days later, just two weeks ahead of Germany’s Euro opener against Portugal on 9 June.
Badstuber remaining in Munich
Badstuber is suspended for the Champions League final, “but he'll spend the week training as normal with Bayern," Löw explained, “it's what Holger and Jupp Heynckes wanted, and we support it." The Germany supremo is naturally supporting FCB against Chelsea: “Winning a trophy like this would make the players incredibly happy."
Löw is due at Saturday's cup final, but will not attend the Champions League showdown, remaining with the national squad at their southern France training camp and watching on TV instead.