Özil and Beck called up against Norway

German Football
By German Football February 5, 2009 20:12

Özil and Beck called up against Norway

Germany coach Joachim Low has awarded first international call-ups to Mesut Ozil and Andreas Beck while Robert Enke and Lukas Podolski have been left out of the 21-man squad to face Norway in a friendly next Wednesday.

Ozil has recently committed himself to the Germany national team despite advances from Turkey, who he would also be eligible to represent.

Should he earn his first cap next Wednesday, he would officially only be able to represent Germany in future and Low is ready to hand him that after a chat last Friday.

“The Turkish Football Association have been trying hard to get him recently and we decided to sit back for a while until he decided whether he wanted to play for the Germany national team,” said Low. “In a telephone conversation last Friday, he told me that he wants to play for our team in future.

“That made it only obvious that we would nominate him in the squad for the Norway game.”

Werder Bremen midfielder Ozil was born in Germany and is the third generation of a Turkish family that settled in the country.

He said it had been difficult “because my family and many of my friends come from Turkey,” but he feels he has “made the right decision”.

He added: “This is not a decision against my Turkish roots. I am delighted to be called up and will look to take my chance with the Germany national team.”

Defender Beck has impressed for Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim this season and is likely to earn his first cap on Wednesday.

“We took a good look at him last year and now we want to give him the chance to prove himself with us,” explained Low. “He has developed well at Hoffenheim and that is why we want to test him on the right-hand side in the national team.

“He is one of the young and dynamic players with potential who we particularly want to promote.”

Low has named only two goalkeepers in his squad in Bayer Leverkusen’s Rene Adler and Werder Bremen’s Tim Wiese.

Many had been expecting Hannover’s Enke to return after he came through his first 90 minutes following a four-month injury lay-off in the Bundesliga at the weekend, but Low explained a return to the national team right now had come too soon.

“After a long absence, Robert has only played one game in the Bundesliga,” he said. “We know what he can do and it is important for him now to get more match practice over the coming weeks.”

Michael Ballack and Torsten Frings are both back in the squad after missing the defeat by England last year while Stefan Kiessling returns to add to his single cap, picked up almost two years ago.

He takes the place of Bayern Munich striker Podolski, who has been excluded due to a lack of game time brought about by recent injuries and illness.

The squad will meet on Sunday evening to prepare for the game with Norway, which takes place in Dusseldorf.

Goalkeepers: Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen)

Defenders: Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Andreas Hinkel (Celtic), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Serdar Tasci (Stuttgart), Heiko Westermann (Schalke)

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (Stuttgart), Marko Marin (Borussia Monchengladbach), Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg)

Attackers: Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Patrick Helmes, Stefan Kiessling (both Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich)

via Soccernet

German Football
By German Football February 5, 2009 20:12
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