Germany head coach Joachim Loew on Wednesday dropped striker Patrick Helmes plus midfielders Jermaine Jones and teenager Marko Marin from his Euro 2008 squad.
Loew named an extended squad on May 16 for a training camp in Mallorca, but had to drop three players before submitting his final 23-man squad for the tournament, co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland, which begins on June 7.
Jones (Schalke 04), Helmes (Bayer Leverkusen) and Marin (Borussia Moenchengladbach) will all now return to their clubs.
All three played in Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with minnows Belarus and were told of the decision on Wednesday morning.
The most surprising omission was Marin as Loew had heaped praise on the teenager all week.
Germany face Serbia in their final warm-up game in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday and open their Euro 2008 campaign against Poland.
France drop Cisse
Tignes (France): Djibril Cisse was one of seven members of France’s Euro 2008 squad to be dropped by manager Raymond Domenech.
Domenech, unveiling his final 23-man squad for next month’s championships, also left out Paris Saint Germain’s Mickael Landreau, Julien Escude, Philippe Mexes, Alou Diarra, Mathieu Flamini and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Former Liverpool striker Cisse did himself no favours in France’s warm-up friendly against Ecuador on Tuesday, the Marseille forward being the target of boos from the crowd after missing a header.