Germany enjoy warm-up romp

Low's team batter amateur outfit

Germany: 24-0 triumph

Germany's preparations for the World Cup finals were aided as they recorded a 24-0 hammering of an amateur team.

Joachim's Low side were enjoying a workout against a young local team from Eppan, with frontmen Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez bearing significant fruit as they plundered five goals apiece.

Piotr Trochowski (three), Andreas Beck (two), Toni Kroos (two), Arne Friedrich (one) and Sami Khedira (one), all found the net, while strikers Cacau and Stefan Kiessling scored two each.

Germany will face much tougher tests in Group D when they come up against Australia, Serbia and Ghana, but Stuttgart man Cacau said his team were looking forward to getting started on 13th June against the Australians.

He said: "I am enjoying the atmosphere. The tension is rising every day as the World Cup beckons and we are all really looking forward to it getting started."

Low has other more pressing matters to worry about in the meantime, with the coach expected to announce Philipp Lahm as his new captain on Thursday.

Leadership qualities

Michael Ballack's absence from the tournament through injury means the Germans are in need of a new leader and the Bayern Munich defender is believed to be in line to receive the armband.

The decision has not been welcomed in some quarters, though, with former No.1 and skipper Oliver Kahn convinced the 26-year-old would not be the right choice.

He told Munich newspaper Tz: "You have a huge responsibility as captain of the national team and the player who wears the armband must always lead the way.

"Lahm still has to prove whether he has the leadership qualities for the whole tournament.

"A World Cup is very long and there are tough phases. As the captain, you must always be positive and courageous.

"Philipp is a great footballer, but I don't know whether he is mature enough for this."