Expatica news

Frings fit but place is uncertain ahead of Turkey clash

25 June 2008

BASLE – Torsten Frings is back in full training despite a cracked rib but the German camp did not reveal on Tuesday whether the influential midfielder will play in the Euro 2008 semi-final with Turkey.

Coach Joachim Loew, at a brief news conference at Basle’s St Jakob-Park stadium Tuesday evening, said he had no injury problems for Wednesday’s match, but gave nothing away on his line-up.

"I expect an intensive and exciting game," he said.

Assistant coach Hansi Flick said earlier at the team’s base at Tenero, Switzerland: "It speaks for him that he wants to play. I just returned from training and he did everything there," said

Captain Michael Ballack said: "Torsten is fit again, he has trained. He is pain-free, it is no risk when he plays."

However, neither man said that Frings will return into the team and coach Loew had also remained tight-lipped on the issue the previous day.

Frings had to sit out the quarter-final match with Portugal which Germany won 3-2. In order to contain Portugal and to make up for the absence of Frings, Germany added midfielders Thomas Hitzlsperger and Simon Rolfes.

Loew is yet to say whether Germany will play in this 4-5-1 formation again, return to a 4-4-2 or even a 4-3-3 formation which could decide on Frings’ fate.

Frings and Ballack are normally the German team leaders in midfield.

Germany were ousted in the 2006 World Cup semi-finals against Italy when Frings was suspended over a post-quarter-final-match brawl with Argentina, many experts naming his absence one factor why the Germans lost.

[dpa / Expatica]