Jurgen Klinsmann has called up 33 players for fitness tests later this month, as he continues Germany’s preparations for the 2006 World Cup.
Among those called up are Bayern Munich’s Sebastian Deisler and Stuttgart defender Markus Babbel, both of whom have been in the international wilderness in recent years.
Deisler has suffered from depression and injury, while Babbel last played for Germany at Euro 2000 before he was struck down with a debilitating illness.
“It impresses us how he has worked after his serious illness and developed into a lynchpin at VfB Stuttgart,” said Klinsmann.
“Markus will certainly gain further by the World Cup and therefore belongs to the extended circle of the national team.”
Midfielders Dietmar Hamann of Liverpool and Sebastian Kehl of Borussia Dortmund, who have been overlooked since Euro 2004, lhave also been invited, along with striker Oliver Neuville who last played for Germany in April 2004.
“He’s one of six strikers we’re planning on for the World Cup next year,” Klinsmann said, adding Kevin Kuranyi, Miroslav Klose and Gerald Asamoah were currently ahead.
The 33-man squad will undergo tests on March 22 and 23 in Frankfurt.
Goalkeepers: Timo Hildebrand (VfB Stuttgart), Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich), Jens Lehmann (Arsenal)
Defenders: Markus Babbel (VfB Stuttgart), Frank Fahrenhorst (Werder Bremen), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Andreas Hinkel (VfB Stuttgart), Robert Huth (Chelsea), Per Mertesacker (Hanover 96), Christian Pander (Schalke 04), Christian Schulz (Werder Bremen), Moritz Volz (Fulham), Christian Woerns (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Bayern Munich), Frank Baumann, Tim Borowski (both Werder Bremen), Sebastian Deisler (Bayern Munich), Marco Engelhardt (Kaiserslautern), Fabian Ernst (Werder Bremen), Paul Freier (Bayer Leverkusen), Torsten Frings (Bayern Munich), Dietmar Hamann (Liverpool), Thomas Hitzlsperger (Aston Villa), Sebastian Kehl (Borussia Dortmund), Patrick Owomoyela (Arminia Bielefeld), Bernd Schneider (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Gerald Asamoah (Schalke 04), Thomas Brdaric (VfL Wolfsburg), Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen), Kevin Kuranyi (VfB Stuttgart), Oliver Neuville (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Lukas Podolski (FC Cologne)