Germany coach under pressure to recall Kuranyi

BERLIN - Germany coach Joachim Low found himself under mounting pressure on Sunday to recall Schalke 04 striker Kevin Kuranyi after the Bundesliga top scorer's form helped his team climb to the top of the table.

Schalke went two points clear at the top after beating fellow title contenders Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 with Kuranyi netting both goals.

NEWS: Schalke hit top spot

Kuranyi, who has won 52 caps and scored 19 goals for Germany since 2003, last played for his country in September 2008.

A month later he stormed out of the team, furious at being dropped from the squad for their World Cup qualifier against Russia.

Low vowed to never call him up again even after the 28-year-old striker apologised for his behaviour days later.

This season Kuranyi has been spectacular, scoring a personal best 17 goals so far and setting up another six.

Schalke fans chanted "Joachim open your eyes," with the Germany coach in the stands for the match against Leverkusen, while Schalke coach Felix Magath urged Low to think again.

"Sometimes as a coach you have to take back certain decisions and change them," Magath told German DSF television's sports show on Sunday.

"It is always about how good the team can play and a coach you have to put yourself behind that."

"Essentially the coach brought this on himself and now Kuranyi is the best striker in the league."

While a year ago the Germany attack looked to be strong, it no longer is. Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose have scored a meagre two goals each this season while injured Mario Gomez has enjoyed a rollercoaster career with the national team, including a long goal drought.

"Kuranyi is a very good player and normally an international," Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes told reporters.

"I think Low should reconsider because we are not that strong up front especially if you look at how some other international strikers are playing at the moment."

Brazil-born Kuranyi, who has not made a secret of his wish to return to the Germany fold, promised to keep fighting.

"I still have hope. I am in the best form of my career but it is not up to me," he told reporters after the win against Leverkusen. "Only one man can change that and I will work for so long until he does change it," he said.

Germany will play in Group D in the World Cup opening in South Africa on June 11.

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