German camp thrown into confusion as flu and injuries strike

Uruguay v Germany, 7.30pm, Port Elizabeth, ITV 1

Germany coach Joachim Löw was forced to skip training and stay in bed yesterday in the run-up to today's third place play-off against Uruguay, after coming down with a flu virus.

Löw, whose future as Germany coach will be decided after the World Cup, will, however, travel to Port Elizabeth with the team for today's game.

Philipp Lahm, the captain, was also struck down with the flu, along with Lukas Podolski, while Miroslav Klose and the second-choice goalkeeper Tim Wiese were also missing from the training session at Atteridgeville near Pretoria, recovering from minor injuries.

Germany's general manager, Oliver Bierhoff, said it was not yet clear who would play against Uruguay but said the team was determined to help Klose, should he play, equal Ronaldo's World Cup goal record of 15. Klose has scored 14 in three tournaments.

"I think there is a big drive within the team and also his wish to move higher up the list," Bierhoff said. He also explained that it was also not clear whether Germany would field a full-strength team or if substitutes would start: "On the one hand we want to win this match and then there is the thought to thank the substitutes, who have been exceptional in training, throughout all this period. We want to end this tournament on a high note."

Thomas Müller could crown an "unbelievable" first season in top-flight football with the World Cup's young player of the tournament award after he was picked as one of three candidates. "It is a great honour to be selected as one of the nominees," the 20-year-old Bayern Munich striker said yesterday. "It is a wonderful recognition of your work."

The other two are Ghana's Dede Ayew and Mexico's Giovani dos Santos. Müller has scored four goals in his first World Cup, grabbing a starting spot for Germany throughout the tournament after winning his first cap as recently as March. He could add to this goal tally in Port Elizabeth today after missing Germany's 1-0 semi-final defeat to Spain through suspension.

Only 15 months ago Müller was playing third division football with the Bayern reserves. But in his first full season with the first team, Müller was instrumental in helping them win the domestic league and cup double as well as playing in their losing Champions League final against Internazionale. He then immediately joined the Germany squad at their training camp in Italy before flying to South Africa.

History will not favour, Uruguay – twice World Cup winners – in this match, as they finished fourth on the last two occasions they reached the semi-finals, losing out in the play-off to Austria in 1954 and to West Germany in 1970.

But they will be buoyed by the return from suspension of their gifted striker Luis Suarez, whose handball on the goal-line late in the match against Ghana helped put his team in the last four.

However, Uruguay – who lost 3-2 to Holland after a last-gasp fightback – could be without in-form marksman Diego Forlan, who sustained a thigh problem in the semi-final.

Three players who could figure in the play-off – Forlan, Müller and Klose – are joint second in the scoring charts after netting four times each. They all have an opportunity to win the golden boot if they can score twice and Spain's David Villa and the Dutchman Wesley Sneijder – joint top scorers with five – draw blanks in tomorrow's final.

Forlan said he was particularly eager to play in the third-place match and help Uruguay go out on a high. "I hope to be fit for Saturday," he said. "I really want to play for third place. Even that would be great for everyone."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before