German national coach Joachim Loew admitted on Monday that he would be prepared to extend his preliminary squad for Euro 2008 to more than the obligatory 23 so as to give veterans Bernd Schneider and Christoph Metzelder time to prove their fitness.
Schneider and Metzelder – both members of the team that reached the 2002 World Cup final where they lost to Brazil – have been struck down with a herniated disc and left foot injuries respectively.
Schneider, 34 and capped 81 times, was operated on last Friday while 39-times capped Metzelder has not played for Spanish league leaders Real Madrid since undergoing an operation two months ago.
However, both are considered by Loew integral members of the squad hence why he is prepared to consider enlarging the squad prior to the championships, which are being co-hosted by Switzerland and Austria and run from June 7 to 29.
“Because of the present situation, we are going to discuss the possibility of extending the squad to more than 23,” said Loew, who was assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann at the 2006 World Cup when they finished third.
“There is also the possibility of selecting players after depositing the official squad list.”
Loew, who replaced Klinsmann after he stepped down following the World Cup success, had originally planned to select his 23 man squad on May 10 and announce it officially on May 16, some 10 days ahead of the deadline for naming them.
However the situation regarding Schneider and Metzelder has forced a rethink.
“Quite apart from Schneider, the Metzelder situation is worrying me,” said Loew.
“We will decide on both cases on May 10 after discussing their predicaments with the medical staff.”
Loew, though, said he was praying that no other indispensable member of the squad would be injured in the closing days of the season.
“It is imperative that no other international is seriously injured in the next few weeks,” said Loew.
Germany are in Group B with Austria, Croatia and debutants Poland.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!