German national team coach Joachim Löw has made his selections for the team's friendly against Brazil August 10 in Stuttgart. Among a long list of familiar names is one newbie on the roster: Ilkay Gündogan.
The midfielder Gündogan transferred from FC Nuremburg to Bundesliga champs Borussia Dortmund during the off-season, and just a few days after his league debut for Dortmund on Friday, he'll suit up for the first time as a member of Löw's team.
"He's a creative player who reads the game well," Löw said in a statement on the German Football Association's website. "[The friendly against Brazil] is a good chance to get him involved in the team at the start of the European Championship season."
The European Championship competition gets underway in 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
An emotional match
While Gündogan is the only player making his debut for the national team next week, several players are returning after a period of absence. The last match in a German jersey for striker Cacau was in November 2010 in an away-match against Sweden.
Injuries have kept him off the national team - and to some extent out of the Bundesliga - since then.
The Brazilian-born Cacau is looking forward to playing against his native country.
"That's going to be a special day for me - we're even playing in Stuttgart," said Cacau, who plays for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. "Those 90 minutes will be an emotional part of my career."
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Jerome Boateng, and Sven Bender are also making their return to the national side against Brazil. All three missed the last match - a 3-0 win against Azerbaijan in Euro 2012 qualifying last May - due to injuries sustained at the end of the Bundesliga season.
Unavailable better than jet-lagged
Two noticeable absences from Löw's list of available players are Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira. Both players will be coming directly off a tour of the US and China with their club team, Real Madrid. Löw said he had spoken with both players and they had agreed that the team would do without them against Brazil.
"They'll be back in Europe [three days] before the match after a 14 hour flight and several time-zone changes," Löw said. "It makes more sense to let them continue their training back in Spain and bring them back for the Euro qualifiers in September."
Per Mertesacker is also not on the roster for the match as he continues to get back into form following an injury.
Author: Matt Zuvela
Editor: Michael Lawton