Ballack to be left out again
Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack will again miss out on selection for the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Kazakhstan and the friendly with Australia when coach Joachim Low names his squad tomorrow.
Ballack, 34, is working his way back to full fitness after back-to-back injuries and has yet to make himself part of coach Jupp Heynckes' first-choice line-up at Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.
Despite 98 caps to his name and 42 goals for his country, Ballack is currently surplus to requirements in the national side and Low has said the ex-Chelsea star will not be included when the squad is named tomorrow.
Germany play Kazakhstan in Kaiserslautern on 26 March in a EURO 2012 qualifer, followed by a friendly with Australia in Monchengladbach three days later. "He must reach a certain level of performance in Leverkusen, but things are looking better for him there," Low explained to German magazine Kicker.
In Ballack's absence, Real Madrid's Sami Khedira and Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger have forged a partnership at the centre of Germany's midfield on which Low has heaped praise.
Ballack has played just nine Bundesliga games this season after fracturing his leg in September on only his third game back after damaging ankle ligaments last May, which kept him out of the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa.
Low aiming for title
Having signed a contract extension that will keep him in charge until after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Low, who took over as head coach in 2006, said his goal remains to lift a major title.
"That is always the goal. We have developed a good, young side with great prospects," he said. "There is plenty of motivation to take things forward and win a title. This team is on a very good path."
Promising young striker Andre Schurrle, who has scored 12 goals in 25 appearances for Mainz this season, is likely to be called up and add to the first cap he won in the goalless friendly draw with Sweden last November.
"There is a good possibility, that he will be in the squad," said Low. "In the last few weeks he has produced some good performances and is dangerous in front of goal."