The Startelf for the national team of GERMANY pause for the traditional team photograph just prior to the start of the international friendly match with visiting Israel at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig.
back row — Badstuber, Neuer, Kroos, Gomez, Mertesacker, Khedira, Boateng
front row — Lahm, Mueller, Podolski, Oezil
Trainer JOACHIM LOEW’s national team entered the international Testspiel with incoming Israel at the site of the old Zentralstadion on the heels of a humiliating defeat (which included five goals conceded) against neighboring Switzerland. The Bayern Munich players — with the notable exception of World Cup midfielder BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER — who had been given a rest following the disappointing loss to English side FC Chelsea of London in the Final of the UEFA Champions League all returned for Germany’s meeting with the Israelis at Leipzig, however. Indeed, the friendly at the Red Bull Arena afforded the proud Germans one final opportunity to fine tune the squad just before the start of the 2012 UEFA European Championships being hosted jointly by Poland and the Ukraine this June is scheduled to begin.
goal — Manuel NEUER (Bayern Munich / 26 caps )
defense — Jerome BOATENG (Bayern Munich / 21 caps, 0 go), Per MERTESACKER (FC Arsenal – Eng / 81 caps, 1 go), Holger BADSTUBER (Bayern Munich / 20 caps, 1 go), Philipp LAHM (Bayern Munich / 86 caps, 4 go)
def midfield — Sami KHEDIRA (Real Madrid – Spa / 27 caps, 1 go), Toni KROOS (Bayern Munich / 26 caps, 2 go)
att midfield — Thomas MUELLER (Bayern Munich / 27 caps, 10 go), Mesut OEZIL (Real Madrid – Spa / 33 caps, 8 go), Lukas PODOLSKI (1.FC Koeln / 97 caps, 43 go)
attack — Mario GOMEZ (Bayern Munich / 52 caps, 22 go)
MF – Andre SCHUERRLE (Bayer Leverkusen / 14 caps, 7 go)
for Podolski – 67th min
FW – Miroslav KLOSE (SS Lazio Rome – Ita / 116 caps, 63 go)
for Gomez – 67th min
MF – Mario GOETZE (Borussia Dortmund / 14 caps, 2 go)
for Kroos – 83rd min
MF – Marco REUS (Borussia Moenchengladbach / 6 caps, 1 go)
for Mueller – 83rd min
MF – Lars BENDER (Bayer Leverkusen / 6 caps, 0 go)
for Khedira – 88th min
Germany World Cup winger LUKAS PODOLSKI (10), the 27-year-old, former Bayern Munich attacker who scored a career-high 18 goals in the Bundesliga this past season but has already been sold by recently relegated 1.FC Koeln to English Premier League side FC Arsenal of London for the healthy transfer fee of 13.5 million Euros, rocketed a fierce shot on target that was, unfortunately for the native of Poland, aimed straight at Israel goalkeeper Ariel Harush of FC Beitar Jerusalem during the second half of the international friendly contested at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig.