BERLIN - Germany will rest their top players when they visit Denmark for a friendly next week, barely a month after finishing third in the World Cup.
Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Lukas Podolski, Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose were left out of the squad named by coach Joachim Low on Friday.
Only eight members of Low's 18-man squad were in South Africa, most of them as fringe players.
"After the World Cup and the lengthening of our contracts, it was always going to be the case that we would do without our most established players against Denmark," said Low, whose contract was extended for another two years after he returned from South Africa.
"We are aware of our responsibility for the form and health for the international players. So, after the great exertion of the World Cup, it is important for them to concentrate on their clubs and preparing well for the new season," Low added in a statement on the German federation website.
Low's squad included two uncapped players, defender Sascha Rieter and midfielder Marco Reus.
Germany's next competitive matches will be the Euro 2012 qualifiers away to Belgium and at home to Azerbaijan in September.
Germany play Denmark in Copenhagen on August 11.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen)
Defenders: Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Jerome Boateng (Manchester City), Sascha Riether (VfL Wolfsburg), Marcel Schaefer (VfL Wolfsburg), Christian Schulz (Hanover 96), Serdar Tasci (VfB Stuttgart)
Midfielders: Christian Gentner (VfB Stuttgart), Thomas Hitzlsperger (West Ham United), Aaron Hunt (Werder Bremen), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen), Marco Reus (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Christian Traesch (VfB Stuttgart), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg SV)
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Patrick Helmes (Bayer Leverkusen)comments