Football: Klinsmann gathers big World Cup squad

21st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 March 2005, FRANKFURT - Dietmar Hamann was the only absentee as coach Juergen Klinsmann on Monday gathered an extended squad of 36 Germany players for four days of practice and an extensive medical test in further preparation for the 2006 World Cup.

21 March 2005

FRANKFURT - Dietmar Hamann was the only absentee as coach Juergen Klinsmann on Monday gathered an extended squad of 36 Germany players for four days of practice and an extensive medical test in further preparation for the 2006 World Cup.

Of the 36, 19 will on Friday make their way to Slovenia for a friendly the following day.

"Everything is directed towards the World Cup, we will continue firmly in this way," said Klinsmann.

Liverpool's Hamann, who was not due to play in Slovenia, is unavailable due to a knee injury he sustained in the Merseyside derby against Everton.

Other currently sidelined players such as Jens Nowotny, Andreas Goerlitz, Philipp Lahm and Christoph Metzelder were invited to come to Frankfurt as Klinsmann planned to thank all players for a good start into his job since last year and to outline the next moves.

"There is a lot of momentum, the national team is creating fun," said Klinsmann.

Under Klinsmann, who took the job last summer after Rudi Voeller resigned following the winless Euro 2004 campaign, Germany won five games, drew twice and only lost in South Korea.

The positive trend is to continue, with the medical tests on Tuesday and Wednesday one part of getting the players in the best possible shape for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The fitness test carried out by American specialist Mark Verstegen together with team doctor Tim Meyer is to look into whether a first such test last September has already led to positive results.

After the first test - which was unique in German football - captain Michael Ballack and company received personal training plans as well as video footage highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.

The full squad includes young players who may be nominated for the World Cup - such as Christian Pander and Moritz Volz - as well as the likes of Hamann and Markus Babbel who are former players currently not nominated for games.

Klinsmann's motive is to keep up date with their form, and make them feel part of the team to create pressure for the established forces.

"I would be happy if it works out. I have nothing to lose," said the VfB Stuttgart defender Babbel who has not played for Germany in five years.

DPA

Subject: German news

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