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Nov 12, 2013

Weidenfeller: Germany call a dream

Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller has described his first call-up to the German national team as the “icing on the cake” of his career.

Roman Weidenfeller and Andreas Koepke address the media following the Dortmund keeper's call-up.
Roman Weidenfeller and Andreas Koepke address the media following the Dortmund keeper's call-up.

Despite having been tipped for a call-up since 2007, Weidenfeller was frequently overlooked and had appeared destined to hang up his boots without ever playing for his country.

However, at the age of 33, he could now become be the oldest keeper ever to debut for Germany if Joachim Loew grants him playing time in the prestigious friendlies against Italy or England.

“I would like to thank the coaching staff for their trust in me,” Weidenfeller said. “It is a dream come true. It is special to be part of it and breathe the air here.”

Before the Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp had described him as “the best uncapped keeper in the world” and  Weidenfeller said on Tuesday: “Of course, it is an honour if the coach says something like that.”

Germany’s goalkeeper coach, Andreas Koepke, has already confirmed that Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer will start Friday’s game against Italy, so Weidenfeller could theoretically make his debut against England at Wembley on Tuesday.

“That would be very special. It would be a dream come true, but I’m not thinking about that right now,” the keeper said. “To be part of the squad is already the icing on the cake.”

Koepke indicated that, while Weidenfeller “fully deserved the call up”, Germany are focused purely on identifying backup options for Neuer ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

For the 2010 competition, Germany called up the veteran Bayern keeper Hans-Joerg Butt as a replacement for the injured Rene Adler to serve as Neuer’s deputy, and Koepke said: “In 2010, we had an entirely positive experience with that setup. We want to allow for all possibilities.”

Koepke also confirmed that Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ron-Robert Zieler and Bernd Leno are still in contention for a place in the World Cup squad.

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