A pair of foreign legionnaires in Germany striker and Spielfuehrer MIROSLAV KLOSE (11) of Italian Serie A side SS Lazio of Rome, wearing the captain’s armband while enjoying an Indian summer after a free transfer from Bayern Munich several months ago, and Holland defender JORIS MATHIJSEN (4) of Spanish La Liga club CF Malaga, who was sold this summer by SV Hamburg for a fee of 2.5 million Euros following five years of service in the Bundesliga this summer, during the international friendly at the Imtech Arena in the north German port city of Hamburg.
After rolling to a perfect ten victories following ten qualification matches over the past two seasons, GERMANY confirmed its status as a serious, heavyweight contender for the 2012 UEFA European Championships to be contested this upcoming summer with a convincing 3-0 result at home in Hamburg over the visiting neighbors from the NETHERLANDS, beaten Finalist at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Several star players did not appear in the match including the trio from Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich — Germany were without captain and left fullback PHILIPP LAHM as well as midfielder BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER while Holland are still sans dangerous winger ARJEN ROBBEN. The Netherlands also took the field against the neighbors to the east minus the English Premier League, London-based pair of striker ROBIN VAN PERSIE of FC Arsenal and RAFAEL VAN DER VAART, the former SV Hamburg and Real Madrid winger who is now with Tottenham Hotspur. Nevertheless, there was still plenty of world class talent on display for the spectators at the Imtech Arena.
Three-time World Cup veteran MIROSLAV KLOSE demonstrated quite clearly that he is, at this point, thoroughly prepared to compete for his place in trainer JOACHIM LOEW’s Germany side at Euro ’12 this summer. The 33-year-old striker, who has scored six goals in his first ten games for SS Lazio of Rome to start this year in Italy’s always-tough Serie A after netting just four balls in 45 Bundesliga matches over his last two seasons with Bayern Munich, had an absolutely brilliant evening while wearing the captain’s armband in place of Lahm. Aside from an astonishing 63rd international goal on his 113th career appearance for Germany, the legionnaire Klose also accounted for two lovely assists against the Dutch, as well.
Germany World Cup winger THOMAS MUELLER (13) of Bayern Munich, who marked his 25th career appearance for Deutschland with his 10th international tally and was directly involved in the game’s two other goals, as well, jockeys for position with former Bundesliga teammate and Holland World Cup defender EDSON BRAAFHEID (5) of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, who was off-loaded by the record German champions last January after a two-year spell which included a loan term in Scotland with Glasgow Celtic, during the international friendly at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg.
THOMAS MUELLER, who won the Golden Boot for as the top scorer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup final tournament, was another who had a spectacular evening for the Nationalelf and was involved in all three goals against the Netherlands in Hamburg. The 22-year-old winger opened the scoring in the 15th minute after smashing a gorgeous square ball from Klose past Dutch goalkeeper MAARTEN STEKELENBURG of Italian side AS Roma. Another Bayern Munich midfielder, the 21-year-old TONI KROOS, had a hand in construction with a beautifully-flighted ball for the veteran striker out on the right flank.
Mueller, meanwhile, has struggled somewhat with just two goals for Bayern Munich in the first dozen games of this 2011/12 Bundesliga season but, also this fall, has now recorded three goals on his last four appearances for Deutschland.
Legionnaire MESUT OEZIL of Spanish La Liga giant Real Madrid also stood out on a night for Germany which saw all three goals scored as a result of high-class and technically-skilled movements that left the Dutch defense genuinely resembling a youth football team, as one German commentator noted. It was Oezil, who transferred from Werder Bremen to the capital city of Spain for a reported transfer fee of 18.0 million Euros in the August of 2010, who laid on the ball for Klose to head home in the 26th minute of the match. And it was Oezil who capped off the evening in the second half with the most eye-pleasing goal of the contest after glittering one-two stuff with Klose in the box.
A magnificent triumph for the home side, then, as, although Germany now lead the Netherlands by the count of 14-10 in victories with another 14 matches drawn for the all-time series that began over a century ago in April of 1910, the fact is, prior to the match in Hamburg, Deutschland had not defeated die Oranje since an international friendly in April of 1996.
Germany World Cup midfielder MESUT OEZIL (8) of Spanish La Liga giant Real Madrid, who registered his eighth international goal on his 30th career appearance for the national team of Deutschland in the duel with the visiting Dutch neighbors, attempts to remain in possession despite the arrival of Holland substitute midfielder GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM (18) of PSV Eindhoven during the international friendly at the Imtech Arena in the northern port city of Hamburg.
goal – Manuel NEUER (Bayern Munich / 25 caps)
defense – Jerome BOATENG (Bayern Munich / 19 caps, 0 go), Per MERTESACKER (FC Arsenal – Eng / 79 caps, 1 go), Holger BADSTUBER (Bayern Munich / 18 caps, 1 go), Dennis AOGO (SV Hamburg 9 caps, 0 go)
def mf – Toni KROOS (Bayern Munich / 24 caps, 2 go), SAMI KHEDIRA (Real Madrid – Spa / 24 caps, 1 go)
att mf – Thomas MUELLER (Bayern Munich / 25 caps, 10 go), Mesut OEZIL (Real Madrid – Spa / 30 caps, 8 go), Lukas PODOLSKI (1.FC Koeln / 95 caps, 43 go)
attack – Miroslav KLOSE (SS Lazio Rome – Ita / 113 caps, 63 go)
df – Mats HUMMELS (Borussia Dortmund / 12 caps, 0 go)
for Badstuber – 46th min
df – Benedikt HOEWEDES (Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen / 6 caps, 0 go)
for Boateng – 65th min
mf – Mario GOETZE (Borussia Dortmund / 12 caps, 2 go)
for Podolski – 65th min
mf – Marco REUS (Borussia Moenchengladbach / 3 caps, 0 go)
for Klose – 81st min
mf – Simon ROLFES (Bayer Leverkusen / 26 caps, 2 go)
for Kroos – 82nd min
mf – Lars BENDER (Bayer Leverkusen / 3 caps, 0 go)
for Khedira – 88th min
goal – Maarten STEKELENBURG (AS Roma – Ita / 44 caps)
defense – Gregory VAN DER WIEL (Ajax Amsterdam / 29 caps, 0 go), John HEITINGA (FC Everton – Eng / 74 caps, 7 go), Joris MATHIJSEN (CF Malaga – Spa / 78 caps, 3 go), Edson BRAAFHEID (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim – Ger / 10 caps, 0 go)
def mf – Mark VAN BOMMEL (AC Milan – Ita / 73 caps, 10 go), Kevin STROOTMAN (PSV Eindhoven / 10 caps, 1 go)
att mf – Dirk KUYT (FC Liverpool – Eng / 84 caps, 24 go), Wesley SNEIJDER (Inter Milan – Ita / 80 caps, 23 go), Ryan BABEL (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim – Ger / 42 caps, 5 go)
attack – Klaus Jan HUNTELAAR (Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen – Ger / 49 caps, 30 go)
mf – Nigel DE JONG (Manchester City – Eng / 56 caps, 1 go)
for Strootman – 64th min
fw – Roy BEERENS (AZ 67 Alkmaar / 2 caps, 0 go)
for Huntelaar – 76th min
fw – Luuk DE JONG (FC Twente Enschede / 3 caps, 1 go)
for Sneijder – 87th min
mf – Georginio WIJNALDUM (PSV Eindhoven / 2 caps, 1 go)
for Kuyt – 87th min