Hitz fits for Germany
By Chris Ives
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Thomas Hitzlsperger and Per Mertesacker have been called into the Germany squad.German national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann has called up youngsters Thomas Hitzlsperger and Per Mertesacker for the upcoming friendly with Iran.
Klinsmann has always said he would be prepared to give young players a chance as he attempts to find the right mix of players for the 2006 World Cup and says he is confident that the Aston Villa midfielder and the 20-year-old Hannover defender are ready for international duty.
"Thomas has enormous potential and has made great strides in England. He is used to playing at a fast pace, is prepared to get stuck in and can help out going forward," said Klinsmann.
Klinsmann described Mertesacker as a "down to earth and intelligent defender", who is "comfortable on the ball and always ready to play the right pass".
Germany's 20-man squad does not include injured Stuttgart striker Kevin Kuranyi or Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who is being rested.
Experienced defenders Jens Nowotny (Bayer Leverkusen) and Christian Worns (Dortmund) have also been omitted although Klinsmann insists that both still play a role in his future plans.
Full German squad:
Timo Hildebrand (Stuttgart), Jens Lehmann (Arsenal), Frank Fahrenhorst (Bremen), Andreas Gorlitz (Bayern Munich), Andreas Hinkel (Stuttgart), Robert Huth (Chelsea), Philipp Lahm (Stuttgart), Per Mertesacker (Hannover), Michael Ballack (Bayern Munich), Tim Borowski (Bremen), Sebastian Deisler (Bayern Munich), Fabian Ernst (Bremen), Torsten Frings (Bayern Munich), Thomas Hitzlsperger (Aston Villa), Bernd Schneider (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Gerald Asamoah (Schalke), Thomas Brdaric (Wolfsburg), Miroslav Klose (Bremen), Lukas Podolski (Cologne)