World Cup 2006 factfile: Germany

BERLIN, June 28, 2006 (AFP) – Factfile on Germany who face Argentina in the quarter-finals of the World Cup here on Friday:

– Previous World Cup appearances: 15 (1934, 1938, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)
– World Cup best: Winners 3 (1954, 1974, 1990)
– European champions: 3 (1972, 1980, 1996)
FIFA world ranking: 19
Odds: 5/1

Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
A World Cup winner with West Germany in 1990, Klinsmann was appointed in 2004 following the departure of former team-mate and strike partner Rudi Voller.
Struggled at first to win over critics in the media through a mixture of patchy form and his refusal to move his home from California to Germany in the two years leading up to the tournament.
Despite the pressure, Klinsmann’s young team have looked impressive, gaining momentum through the group stages and then swept Sweden aside with a virtuoso performance in their second round tie.

Player to watch: Michael Ballack
The newly signed Chelsea midfielder’s inspirational form at the 2002 World Cup carried Germany all the way to the final, but Ballack was suspended for the climactic match against Brazil.
A dynamic box-to-box footballer whose performances are crucial for Germany.
He missed the opening win over Costa Rica with injury but Klinsmann wasted no time in recalling the former Bayern Munich man for the win against Poland and has played a key role since. Has a foot injury but is expected to be fully fit for Argentina.

Goalkeepers: Jens Lehmann (Arsenal/ENG), Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich), Timo Hildebrand (VfB Stuttgart)
Defenders: Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Robert Huth (Middlesbrough/ENG), Marcell Jansen (Borussia Monchengladbach), Per Mertesacker (Hannover), Christoph Metzelder (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Jens Nowotny (Bayer Leverkusen)
Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea/ENG), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Tim Borowski (Werder Bremen), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Sebastian Kehl (Borussia Dortmund), Bernd Schneider (Bayer Leverkusen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), David Odonkor (Borussia Dortmund)
Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich), Mike Hanke (VfL Wolfsburg), Oliver Neuville (Borussia Monchengladbach), Gerald Asamoah (Schalke 04)