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Monday September 9, 2013 MYT 2:22:01 AM
Monday September 9, 2013 MYT 2:22:18 AM
Germany's coach Joachim Loew (L) comforts Miroslav Klose during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Austria in Munich September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
(Reuters) - Germany's 35-year-old striker Miroslav Klose is worth around two million euros ($2.63 million), easily the lowest price tag in his squad, but still more than the entire Faroe Islands team put together.
The runaway Group C leaders visit the remote Faroes on Tuesday for a World Cup qualifier against opponents Germany coach Joachim Loew has suggested should take part in a preliminary competition.
"The fixture list is overcrowded so we need some sort of remedy," he told Kicker magazine in March.
"We could possibly discuss whether it makes sporting sense to play twice against teams such as Kazakhstan, Andorra, San Marino or the Faroe Islands.
"Personally I would like to see the introduction of a preliminary qualification round."
Europe's 53 teams play in a group stage for qualifying competitions, whereas in Asia, Africa and CONCACAF, the smaller sides take part in preliminary contests to reduce the number of mismatches.
Germany have dropped only two points in seven games and could make sure of their place in next year's World Cup finals in Brazil if they win, but only if second-placed Sweden fail to beat Kazakhstan away which seems unlikely.
The Germans' defence, which conceded nine goals in three friendlies before keeping a clean sheet against Austria on Friday, has been under scrutiny recently but can expect an easy night against the Faroes part-timers.
The Faroes, whose last win was against Estonia two years ago, can be difficult to break down, especially at home where they managed to restrict Italy to a 1-0 win during the qualifying competition for Euro 2012.
However, they have lost all seven games in the group and have managed only three goals.
The contrast between the two sides could not be greater.
According to specialist website Transfermarkt.de, the entire Faroes squad would fetch a total of 1.435 million euros in the transfer market.
In contrast, the Germany squad is estimated to be worth around 451.5 million euros.
The most expensive player in the Faroes' squad is 31-year-old midfielder Christian Holst who plays for Danish top-flight team Silkeborg and is valued at 300,000 euros.
Klose has a chance to set a German scoring record, having equalled Gerd Mueller's 68 goals for Germany when he scored in their 3-0 win over Austria on Friday.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Alison Wildey)
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