Low recalls Bayern, Dortmund stars

Germany coach Joachim Low recalled his Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund stars on Thursday for next Wednesday's friendly against Paraguay.


The majority of the players from the Champions League finalists were left out of the end-of-season trip to the United States due to their participation in the Wembley showpiece in May.

But they all return with only Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger omitted due to injury concerns.

Captain Philipp Lahm, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller of Bayern are all back along with Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan, Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer, Sven Bender and Marco Reus in a 21-man squad.

"I'm delighted to have many players back again for the first time in five months," said Low.

"It's important that we make a good start to a season which culminates with the World Cup in Brazil. With this Paraguay game, we want to tune up for our World Cup qualifiers in September and October."

The game comes only days after the first round of Bundesliga matches while players like Chelsea's Andre Schurrle and Fiorentina's Mario Gomez will not even have played a competitive fixture.

Nevertheless, Low is pleased that both of them have left the Bundesliga and followed the examples of Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose by trying their luck in a new environment.

"I'm sure that they will both benefit from the experience of playing abroad," said Low. "The way Ozil and Khedira developed under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid shows that Schurrle is in good hands.

"I also rate Gomez's move positively. He will have the strong support he needs for his game in Florence and I am sure he will make the grade in Italy like his strike partner Klose."

Germany face Paraguay in Kaiserslautern next Wednesday night before concluding their World Cup qualifying campaign over the next two months against Austria in Munich, in the Faroe Islands, in Cologne against the Republic of Ireland and, finally, against Sweden in Solna.

Should they book their ticket for Brazil without needing a play-off, two further friendly internationals will be arranged in November.

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm (both Bayern Munich), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer (both Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus (all Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil (both Real Madrid), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)

Forwards: Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Mario Gomez (Fiorentina), Miroslav Klose (Lazio)

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