DFB ready for European Championship qualifiers

Joachim Loew also played his role. When a ball went out during the first half and the alert native of Baden standing in front of the coaching bench stopped it professionally, the crowd cheered enthusiastically. “Jogi for the national team”, shouted the fans.  The good mood continued at the first ever international match at Sinsheim, though intermingled with some trepidation in the closing stages. The German national team achieved their first win in the fifth and final friendly of the season. With the 2-1 (2-0) over Uruguay last Sunday (May 29), the 2010 World Cup bronze medallists at first appeared ready for the European Championship qualifiers, against Austria in Vienna on Friday (June 3) and Azerbaijan in Baku on Tuesday (June 7), before a fantastic save by Manuel Neuer from Diego Godin plus some extra luck, assured victory in the last 25 minutes..

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2010, Confederations Cup 2005, Hildebrand, Casillas, UEFA EURO 2008, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2010, Confederations Cup 2005, Hildebrand, Casillas, UEFA EURO 2008, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner
The German team who secured the 2-1 win against Uruguay, support Munich’s bid for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. (Photo: GES/Augenklick)


Munich’s Mario Gomez (20th), who scored his 43rd goal this season in competitive FC Bayern and international matches, and Mainz’s Andre Schuerrle (35th), with his first international goal in the DFB team, ensured the victory. The encounter before a capacity crowd of 25,655 at Rhein Neckar Arena also served a good cause: The revenue of 4.3 million Euros goes to foundations set up by German football, mainly social charities.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2010, Confederations Cup 2005, Hildebrand, Casillas, UEFA EURO 2008, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2010, Confederations Cup 2005, Hildebrand, Casillas, UEFA EURO 2008, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner
Andre Schuerrle performed brilliantly during the German national team’s 2-1 victory over Uruguay and scored his first international goal. (Photo: GES/Augenklick)


Klose injured: Gomez’s time has come

Miroslav Klose was at first sitting on the bench. Gomez, his Bayern team-mate and competitor, had the chance to prove he was the top attacking leader, and took it. At halftime Loew made a surprising decision when he replaced Mesut Oezil with Klose, a second striker, and switched from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2. It had originally been intended that Klose would earn his 110th and 111th caps in Vienna and Baku. He continues to be favoured by Loew as the attacking number one. But Gomez’s time has come sooner than he had thought. For Klose cannot play the upcoming European qualifiers due to a rib contusion he sustained during a battle in the air with goalkeeper Fernando Muslera shortly before the final whistle.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2010, Confederations Cup 2005, Hildebrand, Casillas, UEFA EURO 2008, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2010, Confederations Cup 2005, Hildebrand, Casillas, UEFA EURO 2008, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner
Miroslav Klose, who was sent on during Germany’s 2-1 over Uruguay, is treated for a rib contusion on the pitch. (Photo: GES/Augenklick)


Toni Kroos and Simon Rolfes, who returned to the DFB selection after 19 months, replaced injured Sami Khedira, who might be fit again in Austria, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who with Per Mertesacker, wasn’ selected in midfield against Uruguay. The defence consisted of Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer of new champions Dortmund, Philipp Lahm and Arne Friedrich on his 31st birthday. Schuerrle performed brilliantly on the left and on this form could prove a danger to regular Lukas Podolski. “Poldi” was one of six players sent on in the second half when Uruguay, seventh in the World rankings, made life difficult for the 2008 European runners-up. Walter Gargano had scored to make it 2-1 in the 48th minute.

In the 66th minute Loew sent on the 46th newcomer in the past five years, when Schalke’s Benedikt Hoewedes replaced Lahm to make his debut in the national team. At the same moment Holger Badstuber took over from Friedrich. The Wolfsburg player did not make such a strong impression as at the 2010 World Cup finals. Marco Reus remained with his international jinx. Muscular problems forced the Moenchengladbach player to postpone his international debut for the third time.

Gomez is hoping for the same success as at Bayern

Gomez moves much better within the team than during the tournament in South Africa. “I was pleased to be able to play in the starting line up and gave it my best”. He has coped with the crowds’ rejection during the last internationals against Kazakhstan and Australia, helped mainly by Loew’s encouragement. “I shall score many important goals for the national team. Let’s wait and see when my time comes”, Gomez disclosed at Sinsheim. “I shall stick to my guns. I am more relaxed now about the battle for number one and no longer need to keep trying so hard”. Just a few hours later he was told that he will replace the injured Klose as the number one. “I am hoping that the road I took with FC Bayern will also be the right one in the national team”. That’s where he has learned to pull himself up by his bootstraps.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2010, Confederations Cup 2005, Hildebrand, Casillas, UEFA EURO 2008, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental, Reifen, Fußball, FIFA WM 2010, Confederations Cup 2005, Hildebrand, Casillas, UEFA EURO 2008, Koerbel, Deutschland, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti-Stars, WM-Tickets gewinnen, Tickets, FIFA-Partner
Mario Gomez rejoices and clenches his fist. The striker scored to give Germany a 1-0 lead during the 2-1 win over Uruguay at Sinsheim. (Photo: GES/Augenklick)


At the start of the season, the 30-million Euro player was told by coach Louis van Gaal he could move to another club. But then Gomez benefited from Klose’s injury sustained during the 3-0 win in Kazakhstan last October. Gomez replaced his colleague, who is also his biggest rival. From then on he scored one goal after another. He achieved comparison with Gerd Mueller after scoring 39 goals in the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup by the end of the season. Klose, only a substitute player in Munich since last October, scored just five goals for Bayern during the season. But he has remained the front player for Loew, not only for his nine international goals this season, particularly during the five wins in five European qualifiers, but also because of his running and greater tactical capabilities. Klose will turn 33 on June 9. He will be 34 at the European Championship next year. It would be somewhat impudent for him to aim at the 2014 World Cup. In the foreseeable future Gomez will possibly take over permanently from Klose. As Loew likes to mention the competitive pressure he has to endure in the battle for the title, the changing of the guard in Vienna and Baku could be coming quicker than expected.