Joachim Low, the head coach of the German men’s national team, announced his squad for the upcoming friendly next Wednesday against Italy. Twenty-two players will suit up for the German side for the friendly at Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park.
Five of Low’s picks for the friendly are from the high-flying Dortmund team, including Sven Bender in his national team debut. Another five members of the squad hail from last year’s Bayern Munich championship club. Missing from the action will be former German captain Michael Ballack, who recently returned to action for Bayer Leverkusen after missing much of the current campaign
“I am happy Michael is back after the two injuries,” Low said on Friday. “He looks to be finding his rhythm. But we both know it will take some more time.” Low does not rule out Ballack’s return to the national team, but sees this friendly as another opportunity to blend in new players. The last time Germany played Italy in Dortmund was in the FIFA 2006 World Cup semifinals, with Italy taking the match 2-0. Italy holds the upper hand in the history of international matches with Germany, a trend that Low will look to change Wednesday. The German national team will return to Euro 2012 qualifying on March 26 when they host Kazakhstan in Kaiserslautern. Germany is undefeated in its Euro qualifying group.
Germany Roster for Italy Friendly
Goalkeepers: Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen), Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04)
Defenders: Dennis Aogo (SV Hamburg), Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich) Jerome Boateng (Manchester City), Arne Friedrich (VfL Wolfsburg), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Heiko Westermann (SV Hamburg)
Midfielders: Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Mesut Oezil (Real Madrid), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Christian Traesch (VfB Stuttgart)
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Cologne)