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Michael Ballack sceptical of Joachim Low experiment

Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack urges Joachim Low to stick with conventional strikers and abandon his 'false nine' experiment.

Former Germany captain Michael Ballack has insisted that Joachim Low should not attempt to copy Barcelona's model of playing with a 'false nine'.

Low has tinkered with the idea in recent friendly internationals, using Mario Gotze and Marco Reus in a withdrawn role similar to the model used to deadly effect by the Catalan giants and Lionel Messi.

Ballack believes that Low should concentrate on building a team around the conventional marksman already at his disposal, such as Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose.

He told ZDF: "I'm still a fan of real strikers. The likes of Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose are needed.

"The game is fluid but when the ball comes into the box, you need a centre-forward. I doubt it (false nine) is a model for the future.

"But we can be happy that the team is able to play in such a system," he continued. "This shows how many outstanding players we have and all of their potential. That was not the case in the past."

Germany lead nearest Group C rivals Sweden by five points after beating Kazakhstan 3-0 in their latest World Cup qualifying match on Friday.

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