Loew names uncapped pair in preliminary Euro squad
BERLIN: Germany coach Joachim Loew on Monday named uncapped teenage midfielder Julian Draxler and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in his provisional squad for Euro 2012.
The two surprises in Loew’s initial 27-man squad are Schalke 04′s 18-year-old Draxler and Moenchengladbach’s shot-stopper ter Stegen, 20, for the European Championships to be hosted by Poland and the Ukraine.
Loew has named four goalkeepers and 13 midfielders in his provisional group but must cut four names by May 29 before taking a 23-man squad to Euro 2012 which kicks off on June 8 with the final in Kiev on July 1.
“Julian Draxler has not played for us yet, but he has enormous potential, especially with his speed in one-on-one situations,” explained Loew.
With just one appearance for Germany, another surprise is the call up of midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, one of five players from German champions Borussia Dortmund, while eight Bayern Munich players have been selected.
Twins Lars and Sven Bender, of Bayer Leverkusen and Dortmund, have both been included.
With Dortmund and Bayern both in Saturday’s German cup final in Berlin, Loew will take the bulk of his squad to a training camp in Sardinia on Friday before the second camp in the south of France begins on May 19.
Bayern’s stars will join up with the Germany squad after the Champions League final in Munich against Chelsea the same day.
Germany have Euro 2012 warm-up games against Switzerland, in Basel on Saturday May 26, then face Israel, in Leipzig on Thursday May 31.
Having been drawn in Group B, Germany play all their games in the Ukraine when they face Portugal in Lviv on June 9, the Netherlands on May 13 and Denmark on May 17, both in Kharkiv.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber, Philipp Lahm (all Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal/ENG), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielder: Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira (both Real Madrid/ESP), Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller, Bastian Schweinsteiger (all Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Mario Goetze, Ilkay Gundogan, Sven Bender (all Borussia Dortmund), Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Andre Schuerrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Lukas Podolski (Cologne)
Forwards: Cacau (VfB Stuttgart), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio Rome/ITA)