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Mertesacker return leaves Löw high

Published: Thursday 9 November 2006, 19.00CET
Coach Joachim Löw was delighted to welcome central defender Per Mertesacker back into the Germany fold for the UEFA EURO 2008™ Group D qualifier in Cyprus.
 
Published: Thursday 9 November 2006, 19.00CET

Mertesacker return leaves Löw high

Coach Joachim Löw was delighted to welcome central defender Per Mertesacker back into the Germany fold for the UEFA EURO 2008™ Group D qualifier in Cyprus.

Coach Joachim Löw was delighted to welcome Per Mertesacker back into the Germany fold for the UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier in Cyprus after the central defender's return to fitness and form with Werder Bremen.

Heel injury
The 22-year-old was a regular at the FIFA World Cup but has not played for his country since picking up a heel injury during the semi-final defeat by Italy. Mertesacker left Hannover 96 for Bremen in a €5m summer deal but only made his debut in the 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw against FC Barcelona on 27 September as his recovery from surgery took longer than expected.

Perfect record
Löw said: "Per has been a fixture in the squad for two years. After his long injury break he has started to play better and better and is now at a consistent level in the Bundesliga and Champions League. After talking to his club coach Thomas Schaaf, I had no hesitation in picking him." Germany have won all three of their Group D qualifiers, while Cyprus have three points from three games ahead of the match in Nicosia.

Germany squad
Goalkeepers: Timo Hildebrand (VfB Stuttgart), Jens Lehmann (Arsenal FC).

Defenders: Malik Fathi (Hertha BSC Berlin), Arne Friedrich (Hertha BSC Berlin), Manuel Friedrich (1. FSV Mainz 05), Clemens Fritz (Werder Bremen), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen).

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea FC), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), David Odonkor (Real Betis Balompié), Bernd Schneider (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburger SV).

Forwards: Mike Hanke (VfL Wolfsburg), Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen), Oliver Neuville (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jan Schlaudraff (TSV Alemannia Aachen).

 
Last updated: 09/11/06 20.39CET

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