Cacau a casualty as Low names Germany squad

Cacau, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Sven Bender and Julian Draxler have all been left out of Germany coach Joachim Low’s final 23-man selection for Euro 2012.

Low announced his squad one day early yesterday and the Germany coach, who took a 27-man squad into two training camps in Sardinia and France, will now start working with his final group in the build-up to their first match of the tournament against Portugal on 9 June.

Stuttgart striker Cacau is a surprise exclusion as Low now takes only three forwards with him to Poland and Ukraine – Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski. “It was my big goal after the World Cup in South Africa also to be part of Euro 2012 with the Germany national team,” Cacau said. “I knew that the competition for the 23 places would be hard. I gave it my best shot but I still feel part of this team and wish them from the bottom of my heart that they play a great European Championships.”

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Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Ter Stegen made his international debut in Saturday’s 5-3 defeat to Switzerland.

Despite not passing his first international test, he has vowed to bounce back. “Of course I am disappointed,” he said on the German Football Association (DFB) website.

“Nevertheless, these days were an interesting experience for me. I would like to wish the team much success at the European Championships.”

The exclusions of 19-year-old Draxler and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bender were less surprising, though doubtless upsetting for the two players.

Germany squad: Goalkeepers: M Neuer (Bayern), T Wiese (Werder Bremen), R-R Zieler (Hanover 96). Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern), J Boateng (Bayern), B Hoewedes (Schalke 04), M Hummels (Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Munich), P Mertesacker (Arsenal), M Schmelzer (Dortmund). Midfielders: L Bender (Leverkusen), M Goetze (Dortmund), I Guendogan (Borussia Dortmund), S Khedira (Real Madrid), T Kroos (Bayern), T Mueller (Bayern), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), L Podolski (Cologne), M Reus (Moenchengladbach), A Schuerrle (Leverkusen), B Schweinsteiger (Bayern). Forwards: M Gomez (Bayern), Miroslav Klose (Lazio).