Asia trip to build German football's team spirit

13th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 December 2004 , NEU-ISENBURG - Coach Juergen Klinsmann has named his Germany sqaud for the upcoming Asia trip involving three friendlies, saying he was looking for victories to help build team spirit. However, influential Bayern Munich midfielder Torsten Frings is out with a rib injury and Werder Bremen captain Frank Baumann also has to stay behind with knee problems. Klinsmann has nominated Kaiserslautern midfielder Marco Engelhardt as the fourth newcomer into a 21-player squad which is due to depart o


13 December 2004

NEU-ISENBURG - Coach Juergen Klinsmann has named his Germany sqaud for the upcoming Asia trip involving three friendlies, saying he was looking for victories to help build team spirit.

However, influential Bayern Munich midfielder Torsten Frings is out with a rib injury and Werder Bremen captain Frank Baumann also has to stay behind with knee problems.

Klinsmann has nominated Kaiserslautern midfielder Marco Engelhardt as the fourth newcomer into a 21-player squad which is due to depart on Monday for the games in Japan (December 16), South Korea (19) and Thailand (21).

"The trip is very important for the team spirit. We want to further grow as a team. And we want to do well on the pitch as well," said Klinsmann.

Captain Michael Ballack agreed: "It is our duty to play three good matches and to also sell ourselves well off the pitch."

The trip is not without controversy because Bundesliga team officials are concerned that their players in the squad will return injured or exhausted.

But the three matches have a sports-political aspect as well as Germany had an obligation after receiving the Asian votes in its successful bid to host the 2006 World Cup.

However, not all stars will be in Asia.

Frings, Baumann and Robert Huth of Chelsea are injured. Jens Lehmann (Arsenal), Moritz Volz (Fulham) and Thomas Hitzelsperger (Aston Villa) have not been released by their clubs in the English Premier League, which unlike the Bundesliga has no winter break.

A quartet of VfB Stuttgart players - Kevin Kuranyi, Philipp Lahm, Andreas Hinkel and Timo Hildebrand - will not be available for the first game in Yokohama because of UEFA Cup duties, but play in Seoul and Bangkok.

Engelhardt, meanwhile, is a 24-year-old midfielder from Kaiserslautern who is playing in his first Bundesliga season.

He is one of four newcomers on the Asia squad, the others being VfL Wolfsburg goalkeeper Jentzsch plus the defenders Patrick Owomoyela (Arminia Bielefeld) and Christian Pander (Schalke 04).

Germany have yet to lose a match since the former national team striker Klinsmann became coach in July in succession to Rudi Voeller, drawing with Brazil in a rematch of the 2002 World Cup final and winning their three other games against Austria, Cameroon and Iran.

Ballack heaped praise on Klinsmann in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag paper.

"I have rarely in my career seen a coach who has such a positive attitude and who can excite people for a cause in such a way. That is fantastic," Ballack said. 

DPA

Subject: German news 

 

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