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May 1, 2014

Bayern setback helps Germany's Loew

After Bayern Munich's 4-0 loss to Real Madrid, the ESPN FC team give their take on Bayern's defensive struggles and lacking offense.

Germany coach Joachim Loew is set to have his full squad available for a pre-World Cup training camp in Italy later this month following Bayern Munich's exit from the Champions League.

Germany boss Joachim Loew watches on during the World Cup draw in Costa Do Sauipe.
Joachim Loew and Germany hold a training camp later this month.

Loew watched as Bayern were beaten 4-0 at home by Real Madrid in the semifinals on Tuesday, crashing out 5-0 on aggregate, and DFB.de quoted him as saying: "Real Madrid were just better -- you have to accept that."

On May 17, Bayern meet Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal final in Berlin, and Loew said: "After that, we will start our World Cup preparation. Together, we have high ambitions."

"Bayern defeat against Real: Loew's clandestine delight," Spiegel Online wrote, focusing on the fact that the Germany boss will have all his players available for the full duration of his World Cup preparations.

The players travel to Italy for the training camp on May 21, and Bayern's Champions League elimination means Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Goetze and Thomas Mueller will be there. Chelsea's semifinal defeat to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday means Andre Schuerrle will also be available.

Only Real Madrid's Sami Khedira, continuing his recovery from injury, currently working on his comeback after an ACL tear in November 2013, might miss the first part of the training camp.

Meanwhile, striker Mario Gomez is stepping up his attempts to be fit in time for the World Cup, and could even be back in action for the Coppa Italia final against Napoli at the weekend.

He has missed much of his first season for Fiorentina because of to a succession of knee injuries, but has not yet given up hope of returning in time to convince Loew he is fit for a place in his World Cup squad.

"The World Cup is and remains by biggest objective," Gomez, 28, told Germany's Sport Bild magazine. "I desperately want to be there, not just as a spectator but helping the team. I'm full of optimism that I'll find top form in time. It doesn't get any bigger than the World Cup in Brazil."

Gomez's absence dates back to March 23, after only six games back from the knee injury that had sidelined him since September. He has made nine Serie A appearances for the Viola this season, scoring three goals, but said: "It could even be an advantage that many players will be even hungrier and fresher."

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