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Frings won't retire from German team

Frings won't retire from German team

Midfielder Torsten Frings, whose demotion to the bench triggered a crisis in the German national team, will not quit his international career after all.
"I never asked for a starting place guarantee and I will never do so," Frings said in a statement released Sunday through his club Werder Bremen. "I want to convince (coach) Joachim Loew and his team through my performances."
Frings, 31, has 78 games for Germany but played only seven minutes in the 2-1 win over Russia and did not leave the bench in the 1-0 win over Wales in Germany's last two World Cup qualifying games earlier this month.
Captain Michael Ballack, who is Frings' friend from their junior days, later sharply criticized Loew publicly for leaving Frings on the bench. Frings himself said he was considering retirement from the national team and also criticized Loew. Both players bemoaned what they said was a lack of respect for their past services for the team from Loew, who is on a drive to rejuvenate the side for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Both players have now sent conciliatory signals to Loew. Ballack has said he would apologize to Loew in a soon-to-come private meeting and Frings said he would "fight for his chance" to play on the team.
"I will sit together in the shortest possible time, as soon as my health permits me, with Joachim Loew and I will apologize for my behavior," Ballack said in a statement distributed late Saturday by his agent Michael Becker.
Ballack said "the success of the team" was the only thing on his mind when he criticized Loew this week in a newspaper interview.
"I never meant to criticize his work as coach, but only to protect and support teammates in the difficult situation they are in now," Ballack said.
The Chelsea midfielder is recovering from surgery to remove thickened nerves from both feet.
Loew and Ballack talked by telephone Saturday to agree to a meeting.
"The talk will take place as soon as possible," German federation spokesman Harald Stenger said, probably after the Chelsea midfielder has stitches removed from his feet in the upcoming days.
Loew, in comments Sunday released by the federation, said he had "registered" Ballack's statement.
"Much more important is the personal discussion. After that, I will give my final statement," Loew said.
Some German media have speculated that Ballack may lose his captaincy or even his place on the team. But others, including the influential elder statesman Franz Beckenbauer, have urged restraint. Beckenbauer said he could not imagine Germany's team without Ballack, who is 32.


Updated : 2021-05-06 13:09 GMT+08:00