Joachim Löw has named the 27 players who will travel with the German national soccer team to training camp ahead of the European Championship, which starts next month in Poland and Ukraine.
With just over a month to go until Germany's debut at the Euro 2012 on June 9 against Portugal in Lviv, Ukraine, head coach Joachim Löw announced the 27 men that will initially make the trip to the team's training camp, which gets underway on Friday in Sardinia.
The final squad that actually makes the trip to the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine will have 23 players. That list of names has to be submitted by May 29.
At the press conference from the Mercedes Benz customer center in Rastatt on Monday, the provisional team was shown on a screen before Löw took questions about the nominations.
Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Tim Wiese, Ron-Robert Zieler
Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng, Benedikt Höwedes, Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker, Marcel Schmelzer
Lars Bender, Sven Bender, Julian Draxler, Mario Götze, Ilkay Gündogan, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil, Lukas Podolski, Marco Reus, Andre Schürrle, Bastian Schweinsteiger
Cacau, Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose
Not many of the nominations came as much of a surprise, but ter Stegen and Draxler have never played a game in a Germany jersey.
Stefan Kiessling, Patrick Helmes, and Simon Rolfes, who had been nominated in the past and participated in matches in the Euro 2012 qualification, were left out of the nominations.
Not all of the players will be at the training camp in Sardinia starting Friday. The players from Borussia Dortmund, Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer, Mario Götze, and Ilkay Gündogan, will arrive at the camp following their German Cup final matchup with Bayern Munich.
Bayern players will be missing for another week as they play in the Champions League final against Chelsea on May 19. Manuel Neuer, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gomez all play for Bayern.
Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil, both players for Spanish champions Real Madrid, will join the camp shortly after the Dortmund players on May 16.
Politics and soccer
Before the list of nominated players was released, Löw made a few comments regarding the political situation in Ukraine that has many European politicians threatening to boycott the games played in Ukraine.
"If you're asking me as the head coach of Germany," Löw said, "I say that here in Germany we've always tried to present an image of football that stands for fun, happiness and integration, and that it brings people together. All the players are allowed to give their opinions. But we're not going to Ukraine as the world police. We're focusing on the sporting task at hand."
"As a person," Löw said, "I identify myself with values like press freedom, freedom of opinion, protection of minorities and humanitarian treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko."
In an interview with news magazine Der Spiegel released on Monday, German captain Philipp Lahm said "when I see how the regime is treating Yulia Tymoshenko, then that has nothing to do with my understanding of democracy."
Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison last October on charges of signing oil deals with Russia that disadvantaged Ukraine during her time as prime minister. She says she has been beaten in prison, is suffering from back problems and recently launched a hunger strike in protest.
Author: Matt Zuvela
Editor: André Leslie