Badstuber recalled to Germany squad

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After a four-month break, the first round of international fixtures in 2015 is on the near horizon. Joachim Löw's Germany team play a friendly against Australia on 25 March in Kaiserslautern, before a hugely important EURO 2016 qualifier against Georgia in Tbilisi on 29 March. The squad announced by Löw at a press conference in Frankfurt on Friday includes six FC Bayern players.

For the first time in almost two and a half years there is a call-up for fit-again Holger Badstuber . Furthermore, Bastian Schweinsteiger will lead out the team for the first time since stepping up to the captaincy last summer: injuries have meant the 31-year-old has not represented his country since the World Cup final last July. However, both Schweinsteiger and Badstuber have recently recovered peak form for Bayern. As expected, the pair are joined in the Germany roster by world champions Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Mario Götze and Jérôme Boateng.

"The team is in something of a transitional phase," declared Löw, who recently extended his contract as national team supremo to include the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The first two of a total of ten internationals in 2015 will point the way to the future, Löw said: "The task is to form a new team with its own ambitions and a few new ideas." However, a strong Bayern bloc remains a constant.

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