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Nov 9, 2012

Voller angry over Netherlands friendly

Former Germany player and coach Rudi Voller has hit out at his country's friendly fixture in the Netherlands on Tuesday, saying: "Why is this match on?"

In a column for kicker, Voller - now Bayer Leverkusen's general manager - wrote: "No national team player has a break.

"Games like Schalke's comeback against Arsenal or Dortmund's 2-2 in Madrid stretch players to the limit. You can only play like that if you are going full throttle all the time. But how much stress can a player cope with?"

He said he was angry that the game was against Netherlands - a prestigious fixture in a fierce rivalry - meaning national coach Joachim Low could not rest his stars.

"The question is, does the opponent really have to be the Netherlands?" Voller, who guided Germany to the 2002 World Cup final, asked.

"Low cannot field a reserve team, unlike other associations who have less competitive matches coming up and who can rest their stars. Enough is enough."

Low has called Schalke midfielder Roman Neustadter, 24, and Hamburg keeper Rene Adler, 27, into his squad for the match.

Neustadter is set to make his debut for Germany, while Adler returns to the national team picture after a lengthy break.

"Rene has played fantastic over the last month. With his recent form, he belongs to the squad," Low said. He added that he had watched Neustadter over the past year and described his performances as "very positive".

The Germany boss has also called up Dortmund players Ilkay Gundogan and Mats Hummels, as well as Schalke's Julian Draxler and Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender, who missed the recent World Cup qualifiers with injuries.

Looking back at the year, Low said: "We were able to include new and young players in the squad. We will stick to our attacking approach, without denying the need to get better in certain areas and sometimes the need to find the right balance."

Germany squad:

GK: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Rene Adler (Hamburg).

DF: Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm (both Bayern Munich), Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer (both Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Heiko Westermann (Hamburg).

MF: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Mario Gotze, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler, Roman Neustadter (Schalke), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich).

FW: Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Lazio).

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