Scharner gets Austria call-up

Paul Scharner has been given the chance of a comeback for the Austrian national team.The midfielder – who joined English Premiership side West Bromwich Albion (WBA) after five seasons at Wigan Athletic earlier this year – has received a call-up by Austrian boss Dietmar Constantini for the upcoming Euro2012 qualifiers against Azerbaijan in Vienna on 8 October and against Belgium in Brussels (12 October).The 30-year-old was not considered by Constantini for the 23-member squad ahead of the recent 2-0 victory against Kazakhstan when he was looking for a new club.Constantini announced today (Tues) he decided to nominate Scharner, who debuted for Austria eight years ago, again following strong performances in the league.He said: “I’m convinced of him and his skills, but I know some fans don’t like him.”Scharner reportedly asked for a guarantee he will only be nominated in a midfield role and not in the back-four before agreeing on a two-year deal at WBA. Asked whether such an agreement existed in the national team too, Constantini made clear: “Everyone plays where I nominate them.”Scharner – who was linked to Fulham and Liverpool before completing his move to WBA – was not nominated for the Austrian Euro2008 squad after publicly criticising the team’s training methods and structures at the Football Federation (ÖFB).The former Austria Vienna ace has caused mild controversy over the years with extraordinary haircuts and unusual colour dye choices.Constantini’s selection also features Werder Bremen star Marko Arnautovic and Wacker Innsbruck defender Fabian Koch.Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Christoph Leitgeb, Eintracht Frankfurt winger Ümit Korkmaz and injured Besiktas right-back Ekrem Dag and have not been considered by the ex-Mainz 05 boss who took over as ÖFB senior team coach last year.More than 10,000 tickets have been sold for the match against Azerbaijan which will be played in Vienna’s 50,000-seat Ernst Happel Stadium (live on ORF 1; kickoff: 8.30pm).Austria are currently in 61st place in the FIFA World Ranking. The Euro2008 was the only European Championship Austria ever competed in as the country co-hosted the event with neighbouring Switzerland. The 1998 World Cup, which took place in France, was the most recent international competition Austria’s senior team competed in.