BERLIN (Reuters) – Mario Gomez has been recalled to the Germany squad for next week’s friendly against France after an injury layoff but there was still no room for Bundesliga leading scorer Stefan Kiessling.
Bayern Munich striker Gomez, who has not played for his country since Euro 2012 after undergoing ankle surgery, was included in a 23-man squad named on Friday for the friendly in Paris on February 6.
Coach Joachim Loew said that Rene Adler was set to start in goal for what would be his first international for more than two years, although Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer was still the first choice.
There were no major surprises although critics have wondered why coach Loew has been reluctant to select Kiessling, whose 13 goals this season have led Bayer Leverkusen to an unexpected second place in the table.
Thirty-four-year-old Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, who has 10 goals in Serie A this season, was the only other forward in the squad.
Loew’s comments implied that 29-year-old Kiessling did not fit in with Germany’s playing style despite a consistently good scoring record at club level over the years.
"Mario Gomez is in good shape again after his long injury. Like Miroslav Klose, he has all the prerequisites to put our playing philosophy into practice," Loew said in a statement.
"I’m convinced that, thanks to his experience and qualities, he will assert himself at the highest international level."
Gomez, who has scored two goals in seven Bundesliga appearances since returning from injury in late November, has found himself overshadowed at Bayern by Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic, joint second in the scoring charts.
Kiessling made the last of his six appearances against Uruguay in the third-place match at the 2010 World Cup.
Hamburg SV’s Adler was Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup but missed the tournament due to a rib injury and lost his place to Neuer.
He has struggled to fight his way back into the squad despite excellent performances at club level and last played in the friendly against Sweden in November 2010.
"Rene Adler has played very well in the first half of the Bundesliga season," said Loew.
"He deserved the chance to play against France. For the World Cup qualifiers in March, we will entrust Manuel Neuer who is clearly our number one."
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, Editing by Tom Pilcher)
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