Goalie Weidenfeller gets 1st Germany call-up

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 8, 2013 at 7:53 am •  Published: November 8, 2013

BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller earned his first Germany call-up at the age of 33 on Friday for friendlies against Italy and England.

"We're looking forward to having him with us and getting to know him better," said Germany coach Joachim Loew, who said Weidenfeller was being rewarded for his "consistently strong performances" in the Bundesliga and Champions League.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Hamburger SV's Rene Adler were also selected for the games in Milan and London on Nov. 15 and 19, respectively, meaning Hannover's Ron-Robert Zieler makes way.

If Weidenfeller plays in Milan next week, he would become the oldest goalkeeper to make his debut for Germany, and the sixth oldest German debutant.

"Whether for the goalkeeper or other positions, now is the time we need to make decisions," Loew said with a view to next year's World Cup. "The nomination for the tournament in Brazil isn't until May 2014. Until then we're happy with every opportunity to test players and tactics. The battle for places will get even harder in the coming months."

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is out of both games after Bayern Munich announced on Friday he would need another operation on his right ankle, but Lazio striker Miroslav Klose is back in the squad after his foot injury, as is Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer after recovering from a muscle tear in his left thigh.

Both players missed Germany's qualification games against Sweden and Ireland last month.

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, Fiorentina striker Mario Gomez and Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan all remain out due to injury.

Loew will take charge of his 100th game against Italy, traditionally the opponent Germany fears the most. In 99 games, Loew has overseen 68 wins and 16 draws, giving him an average of 2.2 points per game — more than any other Germany coach.

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