Schalke 04 wanted desperately to offload Kevin Kuranyi in the winter break. He hasn't played for Germany since storming off at halftime in October 2008, when he hadn't been picked to play against Russia. But last weekend the 28-year-old scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season to help Schalke 04 to a 2-0 win at Leverkusen – and to first spot in the standings.
Franz Beckenbauer, for one, says Germany coach Joachim Loew should reconsider his promise never to call in Kuranyi. "Loew shouldn't have set his mind on banishing him forever. 'Life' is never the right sentence for a footballer," wrote Beckenbauer. "I felt so at the time. And now Loew has a problem."
The dilemma is exacerbated by the poor showing of Germany's first-choice strikers, writes Raphael Honigstein. His Royal Laziness Prince Lukas Podolski (Cologne) and Miroslav 'Mr Charisma' Klose (Bayern) have scored a total of four goals this season; Leverkusen's Stefan Kiesling is injured, Mario Gomez (Bayern, 10 goals) still frustratingly hit and miss.
"Should the best current goalscorer in the Bundesliga go to the World Cup? In my opinion, ja!" says Beckenbauer. Loew attended Schalke's win over Leverkusen at the BayArena, where fans chanted "Jogi, open your eyes." Kuranyi says he still has hope, "I'm in the form of my career but I can't decide. Only one man can -- and I will continue to fight until he does."