Euro 2012: Striker Cacau left out of Germany squad

Germany coach Joachim Loew has left Brazilian-born forward Cacau out of his 23-man squad for Euro 2012.

Loew has opted to take only three strikers - Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski - to Poland and Ukraine, meaning Stuttgart's Cacau, 31, misses out.

Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Borussia Dortmund's Sven Bender and Julian Draxler of Schalke were also excluded.

"I gave it my best shot," said Cacau.

"It was my big goal after the World Cup in South Africa [in 2010] also to be part of Euro 2012 with the Germany national team.

Cacau stats

  • Age: 31
  • Club: Stuttgart
  • International caps: 23
  • International goals: 6

"I knew from the beginning that the competition for the 23 places would be hard and tight."

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has been named in the squad.

The 27-year-old centre-back was included in the preliminary squad despite having not played since 11 February because of ankle ligament damage.

However, he played against Switzerland on Saturday, partnering Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels as Germany lost 5-3.

Loew, who had taken a 27-man squad to two training camps in Sardinia and France, will explain his choices on Tuesday when he will be working with his final group in the build-up to their opening match of the tournament against Portugal on 9 June.

Germany are seen as one of the favourites to win Euro 2012 after finishing runner-up to Spain four years ago and coming third at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Germany squad:

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (SV Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96).

Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Howedes (FC Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal).

Midfielders : Lars Bender (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (VfL Borussia Monchengladbach), Andre Schurrle (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund).

Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (FC Koln).