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Loew relieved that waiting is almost over (SN)

SoccerNews in Bundesliga, European Championships 19 May 2008

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German coach Joachim Loew admitted he was delighted that the preparations were at last getting underway for the Euro 2008 finals as he jetted in with most of his squad for a training camp here.

Loew – who was assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann when Germany reached the 2006 World Cup semi-finals – was only missing captain Michael Ballack, who is on Champions League final duty with Chelsea and defender Christoph Metzelder, who has gone on his club Real Madrid's tour of Saudi Arabia.

Both will join up with the rest of the squad – who are in relaxed mode as 17 of their wives and girlfriends have come on the trip – here at the end of the week as they are remaining here till May 30.

“We are happy that it is beginning,” said Loew.

“We are hoping for a productive training camp in which no-one is injured so we make a good start to the tournament,” added Loew, who will also have to take the tough decision as to which three players he leaves out of his final squad of 23.

Germany have two warm-up matches planned, against Belarus on May 27 in Kaiserslautern and Serbia on May 31 in Gelsenkirchen.

The Germans – three-time winners of the European crown – are in Group B along with debutants Poland, Croatia and co-hosts Austria.

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