The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Germany recalls 18 World Cup players for friendly vs. Argentina, Euro qualifier vs. Scotland
FRANKFURT - Germany has recalled 18 of its World Cup-winning players for next week's friendly against Argentina, a repeat of the final in Brazil.
The friendly in Duesseldorf on Sept. 3 is the first match for both teams since the July 13 final at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, when Mario Goetze scored in extra time to give Germany its fourth World Cup title.
"It's a challenge and exciting that we can play against Argentina again at home," coach Joachim Loew said. "I have great respect for this team, which will come to Germany highly motivated and will not give us any gifts."
Four days later, Germany starts its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against Scotland in Dortmund.
Argentina comes with a new coach, Gerardo Martino, while Germany will be without three players who have retired from international duty — Miroslav Klose, former captain Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker. They will attend the match to be given an official farewell but will not play.
Loew included forward Marco Reus and striker Mario Gomez, who missed the World Cup. Reus was injured in the final warm-up match one day before the team left for Brazil, while Gomez was dropped after a series of injuries had plagues his season.
"Mario worked incredibly hard and disciplined. He really wanted to return to the national team and has absolutely deserved his call-up," Loew said of the Fiorentina striker whose last Germany match was one year ago.
Also included was Stuttgart defender Antonio Ruediger, whose only previous appearance came in May in a friendly against Poland.
Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will miss the two matches because of a lingering knee injury. Defender Shkodran Mustafi was also dropped because he only returned recently to training for his new club Valencia after an injury and an extended vacation after the World Cup.
Defender Mats Hummels is in the squad even though he is nursing a hamstring injury.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover).
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Eric Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Antonio Ruediger (Stuttgart).
Midfielders and forwards: Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mario Gomez (Fiorentina), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Christoph Kramer (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea).
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