Surprise at Voller's squad pick

Germany coach Rudi Voller has surprised most observers by picking Thomas Brdaric in his Euro 2004 squad.

Germany coach Rudi Voller has surprised most observers by picking Thomas Brdaric in his Euro 2004 squad.

Voller announced his squad today, with 29-year-old Brdaric, who has spent this season on loan from Bayer Leverkusen to Hannover, picked on the strength of his 12 league goals in the Bundesliga season.

Losing out was Oliver Neuville, who scored just six goals in the season which finished on Saturday.

“Brdaric is included on the back of his performances,” Voller said after naming 22 of the 23 players who will make up his squad.

“I’m impressed by the way he has scored his goals and his overall condition.

“His pace and ability to use both feet have helped him score goals on the counter-attack.”

Brdaric was the only surprise name in Voller’s squad, which was otherwise as predicted.

Brdaric had been overlooked for recent friendlies, but he nudged ahead of Neuville, who has paid for his inconsistent form and inability to hold down a regular first-team place at Leverkusen.

“Oliver has always been in the squad over the last few years and I expected him to be in the squad a few months ago,” revealed Voller.

“However, things have not gone according to plan for him and he hasn’t always played for Leverkusen recently.”

Voller has selected just 22 players so far, and he will promote one player from the Under-21 team on June 2, the deadline for squad selection.

Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann and Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann are both included.

Provisional 22-man Germany squad for Euro 2004: Timo Hildebrand (Stuttgart), Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich), Jens Lehmann (Arsenal); Frank Baumann (Werder Bremen), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Andreas Hinkel (Stuttgart), Philipp Lahm (Stuttgart), Jens Nowotny (Bayer Leverkusen), Christian Rahn (Hamburg), Christian Worns (Borussia Dortmund); Michael Ballack (Bayern Munich), Fabian Ernst (Werder Bremen), Paul Freier (Bochum), Torsten Frings (Borussia Dortmund), Dietmar Hamann (Liverpool), Jens Jeremies (Bayern Munich), Sebastian Kehl (Borussia Dortmund), Bernd Schneider (Bayer Leverkusen); Fredi Bobic (Hertha Berlin), Thomas Brdaric (Hannover), Miroslav Klose (Kaiserslautern), Kevin Kuranyi (Stuttgart).

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