Penpix of Germany squad

BERLIN, May 19 (Reuters) - Penpix of Germany's preliminary squad for the World Cup in South Africa:

Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04). Goalkeeper. Born March 27 1986. Caps 3. Goals 0.

Considered the biggest goalkeeping talent in Germany, Neuer is expected to attract several major clubs during the next transfer window. Strong and confident but makes occasional misjudgements when venturing out of goal. Lacks international experience.

Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen). Goalkeeper. Born Dec. 17 1981. Caps 2. Goals 0.

Arguably at just the right age for a goalkeeper, Wiese has been consistently good in the past two seasons and should get the starting spot in the absence of injured Rene Adler. It is surprising that he has not won more than two caps.

Hans-Joerg Butt (Bayern Munich). Goalkeeper. Born May 28 1974. Caps 3. Goals 0.

Veteran Butt is enjoying a prolonged Indian summer and bidding for a starting spot after a spectacular season with Bayern Munich. The 35-year-old was a last-minute call-up in place of Adler but coach Joachim Loew refused to say whether he would be a third-choice keeper as was initially expected. Has the most experience of all German keepers, having been a reserve during the 2002 World Cup. Played in the 2002 Champions League final with Bayer Leverkusen. Very focused on the pitch and a calm character.

Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim). Defender. Born March 13 1987. Caps 7. Goals 0.

The young right back, whose interest in literature and quiet lifestyle goes against the stereotypical footballer, won all his caps in 2009, after a stunning first season with Hoffenheim. However, his team's mediocre season and a personal dip in form have seen him struggling and he could be among those cut ahead of June's final squad announcement.

Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin). Defender. Born May 29 1979. Caps 70. Goals 0.

Among a select group of veterans in the squad, Friedrich is hoping to remain a first choice despite a poor season with Hertha Berlin. Expected to leave his club at the end of the season, with Hertha relegated, and the World Cup could prove the right place to showcase his strong defensive skills. A hard tackler who makes up for his lack of speed with abundant passion.

Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen). Defender. Born Sept. 29 1984. Caps 60. Goals 1.

Once a regular starter in central defence, the slow Mertesacker has found it hard going in recent seasons. Still, has enjoyed success with Werder Bremen, making the German Cup final this year. Likes to push forward and score.

Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04). Defender. Born Aug. 14 1983. Caps 18. Goals 2.

Westermann has had a mixed season for Schalke, concentrating on his central defensive duties, but he likes venturing forward, possesses a powerful shot and is strong in the air.

Jerome Boateng (Hamburg SV). Defender. Born Sept. 3 1988. Caps 4. Goals 0.

An exciting and powerful defender, Boateng is expected to leave Hamburg at the end of the season with major European clubs interested in him. He became the first German to be red-carded on his international debut, in October last year. His older brother Kevin-Prince is in Ghana's World Cup squad after the West African country got FIFA's permissio