Germany names strong side for Turkey, Belgium
Germany named its strongest available side for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Turkey and Belgium, despite having already qualified for next year's tournament.
Germany coach Joachim Loew recalled Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez, Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira and Hamburg defender Dennis Aogo to the 24-man squad Friday, when no new call-ups were made.
All three were missing for the September internationals when Germany became the first team to qualify for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine with a 6-2 rout of Austria on Sept. 2.
Stuttgart striker Cacau was a late call-up for that game, and is included again this time.
''It was important for us to qualify as quickly as possible for the European Championships,'' Loew said. ''Now we also want to remain fully concentrated on the games against Turkey and Belgium. Our aim is to secure two victories to finish qualification unbeaten and with 10 wins from 10 games.''
Germany plays Turkey in Istanbul on Oct. 7, and hosts Belgium in Duesseldorf four days later.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender and defender Marcel Schmelzer were dropped.
''They were both heavily involved (for Dortmund) in recent weeks so we'll do without them this time,'' Loew said. ''I rang them. They should use the coming days to train well with their club.''
Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler and Borussia Moenchengladbach attacking midfielder Marco Reus are the only uncapped players in the squad. The 22-year-old Reus will hope to finally make his debut after pulling out of the squad four times before due to injury.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover)
Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Christian Traesch (Wolfsburg), Dennis Aogo (Hamburger SV)
Midfielders: Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Cologne), Marco Reus (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Andre Schuerrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Mesut Oezil (Real Madrid)
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Cacau (Stuttgart)