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 Post subject: Deutschland über alles
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has been named in Germany's preliminary Euro 2012 squad despite not having played since February due to an ankle injury.

The 27-year-old is joined in Joachim Low's 27-man squad by future team-mate Lukas Podolski, uncapped 18-year-old Julian Draxler and former Manchester United and Northampton goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.

Mertesacker went over on his ankle during a 2-0 win at Stadium of Light and was ruled out for the remainder of the season, but Low revealed he spoke to Wenger before calling the giant defender up.

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Crocked: Mertesacker has been out for two months with an ankle injury

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Germany Euro 2012 preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (Hoffenheim), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Moenchengladbach)
Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Mats Hummels (Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Bendikt Howedes (Schalke), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Marcel Schmelzer (Dortmund)

Midfielders: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Sven Bender (Dortmund), Lars Bender (Leverkusen), Ilkay Gundogan (Dortmund), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Marco Reus (Moenchengladbach), Mario Gotze (Dortmund), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)

Strikers: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Cacau (Stuttgart), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Andreas Schurrle (Leverkusen), Lukas Podolski (Cologne)

'We have spoken with Per and he has put in a lot of effort in getting back to fitness,' said Low.

'I spoke to him and his coach Arsene Wenger yesterday. We agreed that he will fly with the squad to Sardinia on Friday.

'Wenger said he is not ready to play yet so he has welcomed us taking him with us for training.

'He has got to get back to competitive levels of fitness and we hope to get him there over the coming weeks.'

Podolski will join Mertesacker at Arsenal after the tournament in which he could make his 100th international appearance during the at the age of just 27.

At the other end of the scale in terms of caps is Draxler. The midfielder is seen as the next big thing in Germany and made his debut for Schalke last year aged just 17.

He also went on to appear against Manchester United in last season's Champions League semi-final, and Low revealed his admiration for the youngster.

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New kid on the block: Draxler played against United in last year's semi-final

'Julian Draxler has a lot of potential, he is very young and very quick in the one-on-one situations, and very intelligent,' said Low.

'He still does not quite have the consistency, also because he had other things to deal with, such as attending school, and he is still young and could play for the under-19s, but we think he has a great deal of potential for the coming years and we think this nomination could give him a further boost.

'I spoke again with him this morning and his coach Huub Stevens and both are very pleased and we feel he has a great deal of potential.'

Zieler, who spent five years at United without making an appearance, is likely to go to the tournament as third-choice goalkeeper, but faces competition from uncapped 20-year-old Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who has had a fine season for Borussia Moenchengladbach.

The 23-year-old made two appearances on loan at League Two strugglers Northampton Town back in the 2008-09 season, but his career has taken off since moving to Hannover in 2010.

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Ex-Cobbler: Zieler signs professional terms at United with Fergie watching

Germany head into a training camp in Sardinia on Friday, albeit without members of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund's squads - of which there are 12 - as they meet in the DFB-Pokal final on Saturday.

Dortmund's players will then link up with the squad for the second phase of their preparations in the south of France from May 18, although Low will have to wait even longer before his Bayern contingent joins the squad after the Champions League final on May 19.

Since they are also then involved in a friendly match with their club against Holland, they will be given a few days of rest before completing Low's squad ahead of a friendly match against Switzerland on May 26, just days before the deadline for Low's final 23-man squad to be submitted to UEFA.

Germany will also play Israel on May 31 before the final 23 players fly out to Germany's base for the competition in Gdansk on June 4.

Germany's first group fixture is against Portugal on June 9 before they face Holland on June 13 and Denmark in their final group game on June 17.

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 Post subject: Re: Germany
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 12:59 pm 
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Writes 'German football expert' Raphael Honigstein on the BBC website: 'The expected line-up for Germany's opener against Portugal on 9 June will feature at least six Bayern players - Manuel Neuer, Holger Badstuber, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller and Mario Gomez - and it's not inconceivable that Toni Kroos and Jerome Boateng could also find their way into the first XI.

'That would leave Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels, a former Munich player, and Mesut Ozil of Real Madrid as the sole non-Bayern players.'

And that would leave Germany with ten players. 'German football expert', he might be. But the bugger can't count.

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 Post subject: Re: Germany
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Germany have received a fitness boost ahead of Euro 2012 after coach Joachim Low declared Bastian Schweinsteiger's injury had improved.

The Bayern Munich man missed Thursday's friendly win over Israel because of a calf problem which left him unable to train.

But Low has raised hopes the 27-year-old could be fit for Germany's opening match of the tournament against Portugal on June 9

"Schweinsteiger is now pain free again for the first time," he said in the Bild newspaper.

"He can perhaps train again with the team on Monday or Tuesday."

Low admitted, though, his side have to improve when they start their campaign after the unimpressive showing against Israel in their final warm-up match.

Germany, one of the tournament favourites, laboured to a 2-0 victory in Leipzig, their first win of the year following friendly losses to France and, last weekend, Switzerland.

Low said on www.dfb.de: "It was a reasonable final test. It will give us some impetus.

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 Post subject: Re: Deutschland über alles
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Headline in The Sun: 'Per's Ronaldo rap.'

Intro in The Sun: 'Per Mertesacker has taunted Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Germany's grudge opener with Portugal.'

Actual quotes from Per Mertesacker: "We've managed to nip in the bud any of Ronaldo's efforts in past matches against Portugal and must try to avoid at all costs one-on-one situations. He's as fast as lightning and a master of football trickery but we will be practising how to stop him."

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 Post subject: Re: Deutschland über alles
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:07 pm 
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........and they say Germans don't have a sense of humour










mannschaft :bolt:

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 Post subject: Re: Deutschland über alles
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:25 pm 
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Read this morning Podolski has either just got his 100th cap, or he's about to get it...at the age of 26. That's insane.

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 Post subject: Re: Deutschland über alles
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Serbinator wrote:
Read this morning Podolski has either just got his 100th cap, or he's about to get it...at the age of 26. That's insane.

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scored on his 100th appearance


....that can happen when you play 6 or 7 games every tournament

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 Post subject: Re: Deutschland über alles
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:55 pm 
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The German brain
Can Bastian Schweinsteiger, the key for Germany, deliver the Euros?
Roger Bennett
June 21, 2012

Bastian Schweinsteiger's complex talent is undermined only by his nickname -- "Schweini," or "Piggy." But German manager Jogi Loew has concocted a moniker that is slightly more reflective of the linchpin role he plays on the German national team: "The Brain." If the Germans win Euro 2012, it may yet catch on.

The dynamic German midfielder is a player of whom even the compliment-averse Pele was moved to admit, "If I were a coach I would definitely want to have him in my team."

Schweinsteiger is, in baseball parlance, a five-tool player: a direct, technical, intelligent, ball-winning midfielder who is able to score. After rattling off a pair of assists in the 2-1 win over the Dutch, Schweinsteiger revealed himself as Germany's natural leader who sets the team's tempo.

Michael Ballack, a man who knows a thing or two about anchoring that particular midfield, professed, "[Schweinsteiger] has presence, authority, personality, performance and goals. He has everything."

Schweinsteiger was born in 1984 in Kolbemoor, population less than 5,000 (yet also the hometown of radical 1970s German midfielder Paul Breitner) a Bavarian town in which his family ran a skiing business. As a youth Schweinsteiger demonstrated an agility on the slopes, but at 14, he committed himself to soccer and signed with Bayern Munich’s youth system.

The player broke through as a right-sided midfielder at the German powerhouse with whom he has celebrated the domestic league and cup double five times, including 2007-8 when he was switched from the flanks to a more central role, a switch that has allowed him to dominate games for both Munich and the German National Team.

Despite the domestic dominance Bayern has experienced, it is the international arena in which Schweinsteiger now yearns to make a mark. Though just 27 years of age, he has already racked up a startling 93 national team appearances since being plucked from the U-21 team on the eve of Euro 2004 alongside Lukas Podolski. Still raw, the two became the first teens to be included in a German tournament squad. He now refers to it as his "second family."

At the 2006 World Cup, Schweinsteiger played the role of national hero, capping off a remarkable tournament by thrashing home two long-range shots in a third-place playoff victory against Portugal. The Germans went one better at Euro 2008 (though Schweinsteiger started badly, earning a red card for a needless push against Croatia in the second group game).

Suspended and forced to play the role of frustrated spectator, Schweinsteiger watched from the stands beside Chancellor Merkel. The politician took the opportunity to counsel the German playmaker, urging him to understand the difference between intensity and impetuosity by cutting out the foolish aspect of his game. Schweinsteiger proceeded to gain redemption in the quarterfinal against Portugal, scoring once, and delivering two assists. The Germans were ultimately denied by the paper-cut passing of Spain in the final.

At World Cup 2010, "Schweini" laughed last and longest after a clowning Diego Maradona made the mistake of targeting the German ahead of the two teams' Cape Town clash in the quarterfinal. After the two had exchanged words through the media, the floundering Argentinian coach closed a surreal news conference by slipping into a slurred faux-German accent and asking with eyes bulging, "What's the matter, Schweinsteiger? Are you nervoushhh?"

Schweinsteiger responded by delivering one of the most dominant performances of the entire tournament as Argentina were bludgeoned 4-0. For the third goal he single-handedly lacerated the Argentinian defense, driving through Angel Di María, Javier Pastore and Gonzalo Higuaín before faking a pass to serve up a simple finish for Arne Friedrich.

The Germans ultimately came in third yet again and though Schweinsteiger had the satisfaction of being named to the all-tournament team, this personal achievement was not satisfying to a man whose competitive zeal was honed on the cut-throat, adrenaline-fueled world of downhill ski slopes. He publicly dismissed the idea of the team being feted upon its return.

"There eventually comes a time when I need to start winning international titles as well," Schweinsteiger said. "I don't want to win 20 doubles and then retire without having won a major trophy with Germany.

"I just don't want to."

Will 2012 be the year in which Schweinsteiger’s wishes are fulfilled? His team was perfect in qualifying and proceeded to become the first German squad to win all of their Euro group stage games. With Schweinsteiger as the transitional hub behind the buzzing Mesut Ozil and Mario Gomez’s ruthless touch, their performance against Portugal could be considered the class of the tournament so far.

As Germany enters the quarterfinals as a heavy favorite against the gritty charisma of Greece, Schweinsteiger will be further motivated by the experience of a challenging season in which he struggled to find his rhythm after breaking a collarbone, an injury that kept him out of the team for two months.

After recovering from the injury, the Bayern midfielder was then psychologically damaged by the experience of the Champions League shootout defeat to Chelsea in which he missed the crucial penalty. In attempting to fool Petr Cech, Schweinsteiger side-footed the ball against the post and masked the agony and tears by yanking his jersey over his face. So distressed was he by the experience, the midfielder proceeded to ignore German president Joachim Gauck, later explaining the level of personal trauma he had suffered.

"After this great disappointment, I perceived nothing around me," Schweinsteiger said. "I was desperately disappointed, paralyzed."

In happier moments, Schweinsteiger is often pictured with his longtime girlfriend, German model, actress and Sports Illustrated swimsuit star Sarah Brandner. His boots bear testament to the date they first met and German journalists have acknowledged the critical role she plays in broadening his life beyond football. Schweinsteiger has a reputation for wanting to develop himself and being open to new experiences, which is unusual for a professional footballer.

Winning Euro 2012 could prove to be the greatest new experience of all.

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 Post subject: Re: Deutschland über alles
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:29 pm 
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Euro 2012: Mats Hummels leads the way for Germany's humble generation
Amy Lawrence


In 2009, Bayern Munich sold Mats Hummels for £3.2m. Three years later and the classy Germany defender has added Zinedine Zidane to his growing fanbase


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Mats Hummels, right, won the Under-21 European Championship in 2009 with Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil. Photograph: Sampics/Corbis

For all the progressive work Joachim Löw has overseen since he has been in Germany's dugout, he is familiar with the feeling of falling achingly close to a finishing line. As Jürgen Klinsmann's assistant at the 2006 World Cup, which Germany hosted, he was in the party that succumbed in extra time of a riveting semi-final against Italy. In the next two tournaments, Löw's team were floored by Spain in a final and semi-final respectively.

But there is, in this Germany team, a cluster of players who have first-hand knowledge of triumph in the national colours. The crowds might have been a little more sparse, the pressure less consuming, but the medals were still gold as the class of 2009 won the Under-21 European Championship in Sweden in rampaging style.

The conquering team included Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil. That is some vintage. "It's good that we have grown up together," reflects Hummels. "You know how they are on the field and off it. It feels more like a family."

For such a brilliant ensemble to emerge, and then seamlessly bridge the gap to become crucial members of the senior team, is no accident. The Deutscher Fussball Bund is reaping what it began to sow 12 years ago, when a feeble exit from Euro 2000 made Germany take a radical look at their approach to player development. It turned out nothing had changed for 30 years. All their ideas, all their manuals, were stuck in the 1970s.

Fresh theories, young coaches with open minds, and the backing of clubs eager to promote new thinking has produced a more enlightened type of player – not just technically, but behaviourally as well. One word that is rammed home throughout their education is demut. Humility. Khedira talked about it recently as he recalled his formative footballing years at Stuttgart.

The message was clear: every day you are taught to conduct yourself in a humble way. You may be better than your opponents but you must show that on the pitch and not in your personality. Don't make an exhibition of yourself. Don't be brash or selfish. These are golden rules.

This generation strike a very new chord with the public. Fans feel more connected to a bunch who are smart, realistic, responsible and able to express their opinions with reason and warmth that brings them popularity that is more natural than is the case in England.

So it is that Hummels, who has garnered effusive praise for his brand of elegant and strategic defending during the Euros, laughs off all the attention with a modesty that makes him seem even more likeable. If his emergence has caught some by surprise that is only because his club, Borussia Dortmund, fared badly in the Champions League so his global exposure has been less than his compadres at Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.

For Bayern, Hummels is the one who got away. The production line in Munich has been prolific with Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller and Holger Badstuber mainstays for club and country. Hummels came under Bayern's wing from the age of six, and his father, Hermann, worked in the club's youth department. So far, so smooth.

By the age of 19, Hummels had played only once for Bayern's first team and it became apparent that breaking through was hard to do. With established internationals such as the Brazilian Lúcio and the Argentinian Martín Demichelis in front of him, Hummels sought first-team football and moved, initially on loan, to Dortmund. It is not clear how much the decision was affected by the fact his father – also his agent – was fired by Bayern, but the end result was a coup for Bayern's strongest rivals. Hummels's move was made permanent for a bargain €4m (£3.2m). He went straight into the first team, stayed there, and has become a linchpin.

Hummels has won consecutive Bundesliga titles with Borussia, and has been such an impressive figure that Bayern were keen to lure him back to Bavaria. For now it is a lost cause, though. Hummels is grateful for the experience he has gained with Dortmund and the opportunity he has had to blossom. And, of course, the prizes.

He was not a certainty to start for Germany during Euro 2012. There was a lot of debate about the defensive lineup when Per Mertesacker was selected for the last warm-up game before the tournament began. "I'm patient," Hummels said calmly. "When I get the chance I will be there." As it turned out, Löw put him straight back into the team immediately, and his performances on the Euro stage have been flawless.

One of his new admirers is Zinedine Zidane, who picked him out above any more offensive options when asked about which player had most caught his eye during the tournament. "It is nice to go forwards and to be recognised for that, but I am prepared to be a wall if I need to be," reckons Hummels.

The 23-year-old is not afraid of the opinions of others, good or bad. He devours the newspapers, soaks up debates, and takes it all in. Aside from his own genuine interest, there is an extra reason for his enthusiasm in that his mother, Ulla, is a sports journalist. She works on German television, commentating on a range of sports.

There was once a stage when Hummels fancied the life of a reporter if the football did not work out. It seems he had the chance to follow in the footsteps of both his parents. Thankfully for Germany, it is his feet which create the best stories.

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