The Real Madrid defender Christoph Metzelder is hoping for a "new beginning" under Juande Ramos after forcing his way back into the first-team reckoning. The Germany international was used sparingly under Ramos' predecessor Bernd Schuster, who was replaced by the former Tottenham boss earlier this month. The early signs suggest Metzelder is rated highly by the new coach and the former Borussia Dortmund centre-back is optimistic about his chances of playing regularly in 2009 and returning to the national team as a result. Speaking to Sport1.de, he said: "For any player who was on the fringes, a change in the coach is the opportunity for a new beginning. "Every coach sees players differently, has a different idea of how to use them and a different understanding of tactics. "I have taken my chances and strengthened my position."
Metzelder claimed some of his Madrid teammates were also surprised by his exclusion from the squad under Schuster. "I was always respected and recognised, particularly after the European Championships. "I believe that my situation over the last few months was hard for some of my teammates to understand too. "That is why I am even happier to be able to show that I have a certain value in this team." Having convinced Ramos of his worth, Metzelder must now do the same with the Germany coach Joachim Low.
Metzelder has been left out of Low's most recent squads because of a lack of football. "Of course the performance for your club and the rhythm that you have there is important for the national team," he added. "It is always the aim of every player to play for the national team. "I could never have retired. Either you are selected or you are not." *PA Sport