German coach Löw drops four to finalize his Euro 2012 squad | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 28.05.2012
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German coach Löw drops four to finalize his Euro 2012 squad

The coach of Germany's national team made the final four cuts on Monday to get his squad down to the required 23 ahead of the European championship.

The head coach of Germany's national soccer team cut his squad down to the required 23-man roster for the upcoming European championship on Monday, one day earlier than he was required to do so.

Joachim Löw dropped four players: the Brazilian-born Cacau, young goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, teenager Julian Draxler and Sven Bender.

Löw said he had spoken to each of the four personally before sending them home from Germany's training camp in the south of France. None of the four was present at the afternoon training session.

"I knew from the start that there would be a lot of competition," said the 31-year-old Cacau who was part of Germany's 2010 World Cup squad. "Like the younger players I am also very disappointed but still feel part of the team and wish them from the bottom of my heart to play a great Euro."

The absence of Cacau means that Löw will take only two strikers to Ukraine next month, Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose. However, Germany usually plays with just one out-and-out striker.

Gladbach's young keeper out

The 20-year-old ter Stegen, who through his performances with club side Borussia Mönchengladbach emerged as one of the country's top keepers this past season, was dropped just two days after he conceded five goals in Germany's 5-3 loss to Switzerland.

"I am obviously disappointed. But the defeat on my international debut was an important moment in my career and I hope to get the chance again," ter Stegen said.

Germany's goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen jumps for the ball during the international friendly soccer match Switzerland vs Germany at the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel, Switzerland, 26 May 2012.

Ter Stegen conceded five on Saturday

While Sven Bender was also disappointed, he expressed joy that his twin brother Lars had made the cut.

Julian Draxler, who is still just 18, said he had just been happy to get the invitation in the first place.

Late arrivals

Germany's preparations have been hampered by the late arrivals of many of their players. Eight players from Bayern Munich didn't join the team until Saturday, having played in the Champions League final against Chelsea one week earlier.

Monday was the 18th day of the national team's training camp but it was the first time that Löw had a full squad available for training.

Nothing but the title will do

The coach played down any concerns following Germany's defeat against Switzerland on Saturday.

"Many things didn't work, but I'm not worried because I know that we will get a lot better over the next two weeks," Löw said, adding that winning the tournament remained Germany's goal. "We are an elite team with a big goal."

Germany, who are in Group B along with the Netherlands and Denmark, are to open their Euro2012 campaign on June 9 against Portugal.

pfd/slk (dpa, sid, afp)