German national team coach Joachim Low is focused on building a winning roster for next year's World Cup in South Africa, and has stated he will only call players who see regular first-team action for their pro clubs.
Low made the statement to Welt am Sonntag, telling the German newspaper that he has learned his lesson following Euro 2008 when he named Real Madrid defender Christoph Metzelder to the German roster.
Metzelder missed most of the 2007-08 Spanish league season due to injury and failed to impress at the European Championships, which led to heavy criticism of Low in the German media.
Low maintains he won't make the same mistake this time around.
"I won't call up anybody who has not been playing regularly for their side in the months building up to the [World Cup]," Low said. "That is something I have learned from Euro 2008. This is going to be a World Cup which will be played at a very high pace."
Indeed, the inclusion of Metzleder at Euro 2008 was a major mistake, as it appeared as though Low only selected him on his past reputation and not on his form for Real Madrid in the build-up to the tournament.
It also led to conflicts with team captain Michael Ballack.
"One of the obvious mistakes he made was that he stuck with Metzleder at Euro, someone who was patently not right who hadn't played regularly," German soccer expert and author Raphael Honigstein told CBCSports.ca.
"For a coach who said he doesn't look at [a player's reputation] he looks at their performances, he lost a bit of credibility because of that, and [caused] … a few discussions and friction with people like Ballack."
Germany will play in Group D in South Africa with games against Australia (June 13), Serbia (June 15) and Ghana (June 23).