Germany

2006-06-01 10:34

Berlin - Thirty-two teams have qualified for the 2006 World Cup finals which take place in Germany from June 9 - July 9.

GERMANY

Honours:

World Cup appearances: 15 (1934, 1938, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)

World Cup best: Winners 3 (1954, 1974, 1990)

European champions: 3 (1972, 1980, 1996)

Fifa world ranking: 19

Odds: 7/1

Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

A World Cup winner with West Germany in 1990, Klinsmann was appointed in 2004 following the departure of former teammate and strike partner Rudi Voller. Has struggled to win over critics in the media through a mixture of patchy form and his refusal to move his home from California to Germany in the two years leading up to the tournament.

With Germany qualifying as hosts, Klinsmann's untested ability to improvise in tournament football will face a severe examination at the World Cup.

Player to watch: Michael Ballack

The Bayern Munich midfielder's inspirational form at the 2002 World Cup carried Germany all the way to the final. Ballack was suspended for the climactic match against Brazil however and is out for redemption this summer.

A dynamic box-to-box footballer whose performances will be crucial for Germany's hopes of success.

Squad:

Goalkeepers:

Jens Lehmann (Arsenal/ENG), Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich), Timo Hildebrand (VfB Stuttgart)

Defenders:

Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Robert Huth (Chelsea/ENG), Marcell Jansen (Borussia Monchengladbach), Per Mertesacker (Hannover), Christoph Metzelder (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Jens Nowotny (Bayer Leverkusen)

Midfielders:

Michael Ballack (Bayern Munich), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Tim Borowski (Werder Bremen), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Sebastian Kehl (Borussia Dortmund), Bernd Schneider (Bayer Leverkusen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), David Odonkor (Borussia Dortmund)

Forwards:

Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen), Lukas Podolski (FC Cologne), Mike Hanke (VfL Wolfsburg), Oliver Neuville (Borussia Monchengladbach), Gerald Asamoah (Schalke 04)

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