Roman Weidenfeller wins first call-up
Germany coach Joachim Loew has called up Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller for the first time.
Weidenfeller, 33, could become the oldest keeper to win his first Nationalmannschaft cap in the upcoming friendlies against Italy and England, surpassing the 1954 World Cup winner Toni Turek, who made his debut at the age of 31 years and 308 days.
The Dortmund No. 1 will be joined in the squad by fellow goalkeepers Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich and Rene Adler of Hamburg.
“Right now, Manuel Neuer is our clear No. 1. We also know what we have in the younger goalies like Ron-Robert Zieler [of Hannover] or Marc-Andre ter Stegen [of Borussia Moenchengladbach],” Loew told the German Football Association’s official website.
“We have monitored Roman Weidenfeller for a while now and registered his strong performances in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. We are delighted to have him on board and to get to know him better.”
Weidenfeller himself was thrilled to have finally been recognised at international level.
“I am delighted about this invitation,” Weidenfeller told Dortmund’s official website. “I am looking forward to being part of the national team.”
Weidenfeller will be joined by four Dortmund teammates, with Marcel Schmelzer returning from injury.
Bayern Munich, meanwhile, provide six players to the squad, but Bastian Schweinsteiger is missing due to his upcoming ankle surgery.
“I hope and I wish that Bastian can play football pain-free after his surgery. I am convinced he can then return to his old form for Bayern and the national team. He is a constant for us, and also looking ahead to Brazil,” Loew said.
Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, who is just one goal short of becoming Germany’s all-time top scorer, returns to the squad, which also includes Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker, and Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira.
The Italy friendly in Milan on Nov. 15 will mark Loew’s 100th game in charge of Germany. Of his 99 games so far, the Nationalmannschaft have won 68, drawn 16 and lost 15.
“More important than the round number is that I still have the same joy, energy and motivation working for the Germany team as I had seven years ago in my first game against Sweden,” Loew said.
Germany will play their final game of 2013 at Wembley, where they will meet England on Nov. 19.
“Wembley is a myth. To play there is a great experience. A similar atmosphere awaits us in Brazil. Matches against our English friends are prestigious, as is the atmosphere and the explosive nature of the game,” Loew said.
Goalkeepers: Rene Adler (Hamburg), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund).
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Heiko Westermann (Hamburg).
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sidney Sam (Bayer Leverkusen), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea).
Strikers: Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Max Kruse (Borussia Moenchengladbach).