Voeller in confident mood


COUNTDOWN TO THE WORLD CUP: Germany coach Rudi Voeller was in bullish mood yesterday after his team crushed a regional junior side 10-0 in their final World Cup warm-up game.

"I am totally optimistic," Voeller said after the triple world champions outplayed their modest hosts at the local stadium near Germany's training camp in southern Japan.

"I am convinced we will have a good World Cup," added the former Germany striker, who had previously been cautious about his team's chances.

After losing a number of important players through injury, notably defender Jens Nowotny and creative midfielder Sebastian Deisler, Voeller said reaching the knock-out stages was his minimum aim."We may cause a surprise," he said.

Midfielder Michael Ballack, who has been nursing a bruised foot and trained on Saturday for the first time since the team arrived in Japan did not play in the friendly .

"Michael trained again today (Sunday) and I have no doubt he will be able to play our first match," Voeller said.