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Donnarumma receives first Italy call-up

Italy
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Joachim Loew poised to extend contract

Joachim Loew all but confirmed that he will prolong his Germany contract until 2016 at a press conference in Stockholm ahead of his country's final World Cup qualifier against Sweden on Tuesday.

Germany sealed their qualification for the 2014 tournament in Brazil with a home victory against Republic of Ireland on Friday.

Loew, 53, took charge of the national team after the 2006 World Cup, during which he assisted the then national coach Juergen Klinsmann.

He has since guided them to the 2008 European Championship final and the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship.

At the same time, he has overhauled the squad, turning the Germany team into one of the most exciting in world football.

Widespread reports had suggested that he would extend his deal with the German FA. He told the press conference: "Our target is to continue until 2016," but added that an unsuccessful World Cup campaign could lead to changes.

Loew is set to coach Germany for the 100th time when they take on Italy in a friendly on November 15. "That's quite an impressive number of games for a coach," he said. "A couple of years back, I’d have never conceived it."

On Tuesday, Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will be the fourth Germany player of the current generation to win his 100th cap, following in the footsteps of Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and Philipp Lahm.

"I feel that this is a magic number for every player. For everyone who is part of national team, this is something extraordinary," Loew said.

"Bastian has had an incredible development over the last few years, and has become a real leader. He is fully focused on success."

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