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Wed 6 Feb 2008 07:36 AM

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Beckenbauer slams Bayern trio

Beckenbauer has launched an attack on three national team stars as they prepare to face Vienna.

Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer has launched an attack on three of the German giants' stars on the eve of Germany's friendly against Euro 2008 hosts Austria in Vienna on Wednesday.

Double World Cup winner Beckenbauer has criticised midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, striker Lukas Podolski and defender Philipp Lahm for their lack of progress after shining as the stars of the 2006 World Cup.

Beckenbauer believes they have faded and has been unimpressed with their recent form.

"Eighteen monhs ago they were celebrated as World Cup heroes, since then all three have lost some of their power," Beckenbauer told German tabloid Bild. "Perhaps it is for psychological reasons, but they have never quite showed the same kind of form in their league matches."

The attack is all the more astonishing as all three are from Beckenbauer's club, but 'the Kaiser' is hoping Bayern's young guns rekindle the 2006 form when Euro 2008 kicks off in June.

"I hope our young heroes can translate their World Cup form into Euro 2008 and Vienna could be a good opportunity for a new start for them," added Beckenbauer who captained and coached Germany to World Cup success.

With Germany coach Joachim Loew enjoying the luxury of three in-form strikers in Schalke 04's Kevin Kuranyi, Bayern Munich's Miroslav Klose and Stuttgart's Mario Gomez, Beckenbauer says he prefers the tested duo of Kuranyi and Klose.

"I think Kuranyi is the better partner to Klose as he is more flexible and a stronger runner."

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