Germany

Michael Ballack is out after injuring ankle in English FA Cup final against Portsmouth.

    Captain Michael Ballack was injured during the English FA Cup final against Portsmouth [AFP]

    If there's one thing the Germans are good at, it's World Cups.

    The country's only major trophy since effectively taking over from West Germany in late 1990 is the 1996 European Championship, but a team that rarely looks brilliant on paper has done its best to emulate World Cup wins in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

    Since Italia 1990 they have been quarter-finalists twice, third once and runners-up once, when they lost in the final to Brazil in 2002.

    German efficiency is a stereotype that the football team have only reinforced, and their unbending spirit married with stars such as Miroslav Klose make them a team to fear, despite injuries to players like captain Michael Ballack.

    Goalkeepers:

    Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Hans-Joerg Butt (Bayern Munich).

    Group D fixtures

    Sunday June 13

     Germany v Australia 
     Serbia v Ghana 

    Friday June 18

     
    Germany v Serbia 

    Saturday June 19

     
    Ghana v Australia 

    Wednesday June 23

     
    Ghana v Germany 
     Australia v Serbia 

    Defenders:

    Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Jerome Boateng (Hamburg SV), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Serdar Tasci (VfB Stuttgart), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg SV), Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Dennis Aogo (Hamburg SV)

    Midfielders:

    Sami Khedira (VfB Stuttgart), Toni Kroos (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen), Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg SV).

    Strikers:

    Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Cologne), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Stefan Kiessling (Bayer Leverkusen), Cacau (VfB Stuttgart).

    SOURCE: AP


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