Ballack recalled for Norway friendly

BERLIN - Germany coach Joachim Loew has called up talented midfielder Mesut Oezil and recalled captain Michael Ballack and Torsten Frings for next week's friendly against Norway.

Loew, who had a public dispute over tactics with Ballack and Frings last year, also named uncapped Hoffenheim defender Andreas Beck in his squad on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Oezil, born in Germany to Turkish parents, was also courted by the Turkish national team but the Werder Bremen player opted for Germany.

"The Turkish federation recently tried hard to get Mesut," Loew said on the German Soccer Federation website. "In a telephone conversation on Friday he was clear that he wanted to play for our team."

Goalkeeper Robert Enke was left out despite succeeding Jens Lehmann as first-choice keeper after the European Championship, with Loew selecting Bayer Leverkusen's Rene Adler and Tim Wiese of Werder Bremen.

Loew said Enke, recently returned from injury, needed more match practice.

Bayern Munich striker Lukas Podolski was left out after only recently recovering from a back injury.


Keepers: Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen);

Defence: Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Andreas Hinkel (Celtic), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Serdar Tasci (VfB Stuttgart), Heiko Westermann (Schalke);

Midfield: Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), Marko Marin (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Mesut Oezil (Werder Bremen), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg SV);

Attack: Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart), Patrick Helmes (Bayer Leverkusen), Stefan Kiessling (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich); (Writing by Karolos Grohmann in Athens; Editing by Ed Osmond)