Bierhoff angry as Germany poster 'slip-up' drops four players

Berlin (AFP) –


Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff said Thursday he is angry about a poster of the national team which hints at the four names to be cut from the World Cup squad.

Germany play Austria away on Saturday in their penultimate friendly before the World Cup and four names must be trimmed from their extended squad before Monday when the official 23-man line-up must be submitted.

Bierhoff is red-faced over a poster on the German FA (DFB) website, showing how the names of Germany stars appear in sign language.

However, only 23 members of the 27-member extended squad appear on the poster. Reserve goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, defender Jonathan Tah, striker Nils Petersen and midfielder Sebastian Rudy are missing. The quartet are all likely candidates to be cut from the final squad.

"It must be a slip-up, I do not know how it came about, but I'll look into it," fumed Bierhoff at Germany's World Cup training camp in Eppan, north Italy.

"That shouldn't have happened.

"That makes me really angry, but is not an indication of the final selection."

The announcement of the four unlucky players is expected soon after the final whistle against Austria.

Meanwhile, there is some good news for Germany head coach Joachim Loew as his captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer continues to shine in training despite eight months sidelined by injury.

Neuer is set to play against Austria in his first match since fracturing his foot last September.

"Manuel Neuer is on track, there are no more obstacles, he is highly motivated, which does us good," said Bierhoff.

Loew has said Neuer will start the first World Cup match against Mexico in Moscow on June 17, providing he proves his fitness against the Austrians, then Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen next Friday before the team flies to Russia.

"He is the best keeper in the world and is very important to us," enthused Germany defender Niklas Suele.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to visit the world champions' training camp on Sunday.

"She wants to say 'hello' to the team, she wants to do that without making a big scene. It has become a tradition and is well received by the players," said Bierhoff.