Klinsmann ignores Bayern demands to recall Scholl

April 24, 2006
By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN, April 24 (Reuters) - Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann poured cold water on demands from Bayern Munich to include 35-year-old Mehmet Scholl in his World Cup squad - four years after the playmaker retired from international competition.

Scholl, who has had a strong year at Bayern after years of injuries and now specialises in coming off the bench late in the second half, has scored five important goals this season in the Bundesliga and German Cup.

Bayern coach Felix Magath has said Scholl would be a valuable playmaker for Klinsmann to use as a substitute when he needed a late goal - especially since Sebastian Deisler has been ruled out of the World Cup with a knee injury.

Klinsmann did not include Scholl in fitness testing for the final squad.

'We're delighted that he's doing so well again,' Klinsmann said. 'But our priority is on the players that are with us now at the fitness tests.

'(But) one never knows who could still get hurt before the World Cup... (and) we haven't closed the door on anyone.

'For the most part we'll pick our team from the group of 28 players we've worked with all along but we're keeping our eyes open.'

One of the few truly creative German players, Scholl had been hit by injuries over the past few years before having a strong run this year.

In 2003, Scholl refused to reconsider his decision to retire from international soccer after then-coach Rudi Voeller had urged him to make a comeback for Euro 2004.

Scholl said he would now be happy to get a call from Klinsmann.

He scored eight goals from 36 internationals and was a member of Germany's 1996 European championship-winning squad.