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Surprise starlet Kimmich

Löw calls up FCB quintet

Germany will prepare for the Euro 2016 finals with five Bayern pros, Joachim Löw announced in Berlin on Tuesday. The national team head coach has called up Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Thomas Müller, Mario Götze and, surprisingly, youngster Joshua Kimmich to his 27-strong preliminary squad. Löw has until 31 May to notify UEFA of the final 23-man squad for the tournament in France from 10 June to 10 July.

“Joshua has turned in fantastic displays for us. He's an all-rounder, he can play in defensive midfield and in central defence, right and even left. I'm looking forward to our preparations with him. He deserves it,” Neuer said, delighted about the nomination of the 21-year-old. “He's very flexible, he's played and trained at a high level at Bayern, and he played very well in the Champions League too,” commented Löw, explaining why he has called up Kimmich, who has yet to make an appearance for the senior Germany squad.

The World Cup holders will start preparation for the Euro at a training camp in Ascona, Switzerland next week. Löw's troops take on Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland in the group stage. Germany play friendlies against Slovakia in Augsburg on 29 May and Hungary in Gelsenkirchen on 4 June to prepare for the tournament.

Thiago in Spain squad

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque announced his preliminary Spain squad on Tuesday. Thiago is the only FCB pro to be called up for the title holders. Javi Martínez and Juan Bernat will not be part of the squad. Other high-profile players like Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and Diego Costa have not made the cut either.