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Germans call up Hinkel

1 September 2008 14:25

FRANKFURT, Germany (AFP) - Germany coach Joachim Loew on Monday called up Celtic defender Andreas Hinkel to his squad to face Liechtenstein and Finland in upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Loew is without veteran midfielders Torsten Frings and Michael Ballack and so Hinkel gets a chance three years on from his last call-up. He won the last of his 17 caps in September 2005 in a defeat to Slovakia.

"Andreas is a regular at Celtic and has been playing well there recently," said Loew of the 26-year-old Hinkel who previously played for Stuttgart and Spanish side Sevilla.

He made his Germany debut in 2003 and was regarded as a bright hope for the future.

Frings, who has 77 caps, on Sunday had to pull out of the squad after fracturing his nose in a basket-ball game which his club Werder Bremen had organised as a promotional event.

Chelsea's Ballack, Germany's skipper, is laid low with a foot injury.

Three-times world champions Germany also face Russia and Azerbaijan in their qualifying group.

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