Hitzlsperger to captain Germany against Denmark
Berlin: Thomas Hitzlsperger will skipper Germany in their friendly match against Denmark, coach Joachim Loew said on Tuesday, temporarily halting a row over the captaincy between Michael Ballack and Philipp Lahm.
Neither former captain Ballack, who was injured and missed the World Cup, nor Lahm, who replaced him at the tournament, will be playing in Germany’s first match since their third-place finish in South Africa last month.
Ballack, who joined former club Bayer Leverkusen from Chelsea, has said he expects to be given back the role when he plays again for Germany while Lahm wants to remain captain.
Hitzlsperger, 28, who joined West Ham after a hapless spell at Lazio last season, was dropped from the national team prior to the World Cup.
He will, however, be the most experienced man in the squad with 51 caps and six goals, with most World Cup players being rested for Wednesday’s match.
“(Thomas) is an experienced player, he has been around for a long time and has the leadership abilities,” Loew said, adding that keeper Tim Wiese would start in goal ahead of first choice Manuel Neuer.
“(Wiese) will play from the start,” Loew said. “All 16 players will play in this match.”