Teenager Draxler given surprise Germany callup
BERLIN (Reuters) -- Schalke 04's teenage midfielder Julian Draxler won a surprise callup on Monday to Germany's preliminary 27-man squad for Euro 2012 next month.
The uncapped 19-year-old made his Bundesliga debut just over a year ago and has been in sparkling form this season, helping Schalke clinch a third-place finish.
Coach Joachim Loew said the final squad would be announced later this month, adding there would be some changes.
Germany's players begin their preparations on Friday without several key men.
The players from Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will be absent, because of Saturday's German Cup final, together with Real Madrid pair Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.
Bayern's players will not join up with the Euro 2012 squad until after the Champions League final against Chelsea to be held on May 19.
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker, who has been out since February due to ankle surgery, is expected to be fit for the pre-tournament training camp.
"He will be challenged by us in training," Loew told reporters. "We start preparations on Friday with only some of our players but we just have to try our best to get the most out of it."
Germany have been drawn in Group B in Ukraine and Poland along with Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Tim Wiese (Hoffenheim), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Cologne), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Marco Reus (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Cacau (VfB Stuttgart)