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World Cup 2010

January 20, 2010

After a history of tension, German national soccer coach Joachim Loew has announced veteran player Torsten Frings will not be playing for Germany at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Frings in action
Frings, right, said he was not surprised by Loew's decisionImage: AP

Loew said he did not make the decision easily, but that he was hoping to introduce newer, younger players onto the German team.

"We face important decisions in the coming weeks and our position is to openly tell the players how we plan things," Loew told the Bundesliga Web site. "That is why we travelled to Bremen to have a long discussion with Torsten, because we owe it to him."

Thirty-three-year old Frings, midfielder and captain of Werder Bremen, said he was disappointed by Loew's decision, but not surprised.

German national soccer team coach Joachim Loew
Loew says he wants younger players for the 2010 World CupImage: AP

"I have no other choice but to accept this decision, although I am clearly of a different opinion than Joachim Loew," he said at a press conference on Wednesday. "I believe that I still have the potential to deliver strong performances at the World Cup, and I will continue to show this in the Bundesliga."

History of tension

Frings played a large role in Germany's third-place finish in the 2006 home World Cup. The last of his international games was in February 2009 against Norway, which Germany lost 1-0.

Frings had often speculated his previous exclusion from the German team had nothing to do with his playing abilities.

In October 2008, he made public comments challenging Loew's respect for veteran players after he was denied a spot in two World Cup qualifiers.

Editor: Susan Houlton